Swing Low Sweet Chariot Themes

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Religion

The figure of a god riding across the sky in a chariot goes back to Greek mythology, in which Apollo was said to ride the sun as a chariot over the earth during the daylight hours. It is an image of heaven's magnificence, combining the chariot, which symbolized the wealth and power enjoyed by a king, with the superhuman power of flight. The heavenly chariot can also represent trouble for mankind, as in ancient images of Zeus, king of the Greek gods, driving his chariot with one hand and hurling thunderbolts at the earth with the other. In this poem, the chariot is welcome; the speaker spec­ifies that it is coming to carry him or her "home." Here we are shown the Christian belief that heaven is one's natural home, and that life on this earth is just a temporary displacement. This belief is always particularly...

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This section contains 795 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Swing Low Sweet Chariot Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Swing Low Sweet Chariot from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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