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Analysis of "Redemption" by George Herbert

 
Redemption by George Herbert
Redemption by George Herbert

Having been tenant long to a rich lord,
Not thriving, I resolvèd to be bold,
And make a suit unto him, to afford
A new small-rented lease, and cancel th’ old.

In heaven at his manor I him sought;
They told me there that he was lately gone
About some land, which he had dearly bought
Long since on earth, to take possessiòn.
I straight returned, and knowing his great birth,
Sought him accordingly in great resorts;
In cities, theaters, gardens, parks, and courts;
At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth

Of thieves and murderers; there I him espied,
Who straight, Your suit is granted, said, and died


  The poem "Redemption" is a metaphysical poem,metaphysical poems are like love poems but they have religious background. It is an allegory of human relationship with God. The poet uses to landlord to represent God and the persona(tenant) to represent man. The persona is on a search for God,he wants a new life (line 4)
    " A new small rented lease,and cancel the old"
The poet wants redemption. Redemption  means the action of saving or being saved from sin or the act of buying back something.
He therefore searches for his landlord (God) to cancel his old lease(life)
In stanza 1,the poet decides to take a step of boldness
      "Having been tenant,long ago to a rich lord
      Not thriving,I resolved to be bold'
In the next line the poet uses legal imagery as if he were a lawyer to ask the  landlord(God)for  a new lease(life)
       " And make a suit unto him,to afford
         A new small rented lease,and cancel the old "
 
But in his search to heaven he found out that his landlord had returned to earth.
     " They told me that he was lately gone
        About some land,which had dearly bought
        Long since on earth to take possession"
The poet returned and continued his search
   " Sought him accordingly in great resorts
      In cities, theaters,gardens, parks and courts"
The poet was searching for God forgetting that the son of man does not stay in a place. Jesus said in Luke 9;54 that " foxes have holes,birds have nest, but the son of man has no where to lay his head.
At last he found his landlord
     " At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth
      Of thieves and murderers,there I him espied ".
This is a biblical allusion to the parable of the tenants in  Luke 20:9-17. About q man who planted a vineyard and rented it out. He went away for along time at harvest time he sent his servant to the tenants so that they would give him fruits but they beat him. He later sent his heir who they killed.
But alas,the poet's mission was fulfilled
          "............ Your suit is granted,said and died"
The same reason by the poet went up is the same reason why the Lord came down. It is ironical that the poet was seeking for his master for redemption whereas the master has already granted his request. The master's death symbolizes Christ's death on the cross of calvary and his redemption. The poet shows God's love and mercy on human race.
     

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