'Blow! Blow! Thou Winter Wind' - Shakespeare

The poem 'Blow! Blow! Thou Winter Wind' :
Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly;
Most friends is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly! This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot: Thou thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp As friend remembered not.
(Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act III, sc. ii)

The poem entitled ‘Blow! Blow! Thou Winter Wind’ is a song sung by the character named Amiens in the drama written by William Shakespeare. Amiens is one of the lords who have by their own choice come with Duke Senior, who had been banished by his brother. Amiens sings this song commenting upon the ways of the world, and human ingratitude which is more biting than the piercing cold winter wind.
The poet in the very beginning addresses the winter wind and says that it can blow as much hard as it likes because it is not so harsh and rude like man’s nature of being ungrateful. The attack of the winter wind is not so sharp because it is not visible although it is bitingly cold.
The poet asks the frosty sky to freeze because it won’t cause him deep pain as caused by his friends who forget his favours instead of being thankful. The poet says that although the waters are frozen they don’t cause sharp pain like one caused by his friend, who doesn’t even bother to remember him. Thus, the frozen faces of the world are more painful than the frozen waters.
We should always be singing throughout the year like ‘holly’ (an evergreen plant). The poet here says that the friendship is only a pretence and loving is nothing but absurdity and foolery. He again tells that life is very wonderful and should be fully enjoyed. It is like a song and should be sung.
The poet here projects a harsh reality through his song. The celebrated poet Shakespeare is known for his wise words. He is his same self here. His statements are weighty, pithy and precisely correct.

7 comments:

Tomas Karkalas said...

Your writing as report the content of the poem, as warmth the harsh truth. Thank you.
Heigh-ho! You defeated the wind with your lovely concern- the concept of the friendship retrieves it's losses in your post and blossoms with desire to fly in gratitude.
That's wonderful. Thank you.

Umakanta Sagolsem said...

Good and simplified explanation. But you have left why the poet asks the winter wind to sing unto the green holy that symbolises joy and merriment. Anyway precious work !

Umakanta Sagolsem said...

Good and simplified explanation. But you have left why the poet asks the winter wind to sing unto the green holy that symbolises joy and merriment. Anyway precious work !

Kriti Mehra said...

Which website is this explanation taken from because I came across many sites with the SAME content. hah!

Amritbir Kaur said...

Hi Kriti, thanks for letting me know that this content is available on many websites. Actually I have faced this issue many times when I have found my explanatory essays on other websites.

Amritbir Kaur said...

Kriti
Also kindly note the difference in dates of publication of posts.
My post was done in 2008, while the others have been made in 2010 and 2011.

shiundu bonventure said...


Thats some good writing. I naturally like the poem

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