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Virtue Summary
George Herbert

Everything you need to understand or teach Virtue by George Herbert.

  • Virtue Summary & Study Guide
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Virtue Summary


“Virtue” is one of the poems in a collection of verse called The Temple (1633), which George Herbert wrote during the last three years of his life. By then, he had taken holy orders in the Anglican Church and become rector in Bemerton, England, near Salisbury. Herbert's poems are lyrical and harmonious, reflecting the gentle voice of a country parson spreading the Christian message. He appreciates the beauty of creation not only for its own sake but also because he sees it as a mirror of the goodness of the Creator. Yet, despite Herbert's sense of the world's loveliness, his poems often reflect the transience of that beauty and the folly of investing it with any real value. In “Virtue,” he presents a vision of an eternal world beyond the one available to sense perception.

Implicit in “Virtue” is a delicately expressed struggle between rebellion and obedience. The understated conflict...

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Virtue Study Guide

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