Hymn to Beauty Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 21 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Hymn to Beauty.
This section contains 1,058 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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Lines 1—4

"Hymn to Beauty" begins with a question that might seem strange to readers who only think of beauty as a pleasant experience. Baudelaire asks Beauty (which is capitalized, as a proper name) whether it is demonic or divine, whether it comes from heaven or hell. The poem is unique in showing that Beauty is as likely to be horrifying as it is to be wonderful. This ambiguous relationship is one that continues throughout the entire poem. In the last two lines of the first stanza, the way that Beauty can hold conflicting ideas together is compared to the effect of wine, because, like inebriation, beauty throws all things, including good and evil, together at random. Wine has been considered since antiquity to raise the animalistic, instinctual side of human nature, and the poem points out that, under the influence of Beauty, even the most severe moral...

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This section contains 1,058 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Hymn to Beauty Study Guide
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Gale
Hymn to Beauty from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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