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The new Colossus by Emma Lazarus - Analysis

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2011

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`The new Colossus´ by Emma Lazarus

Analysis


The Italian Sonnet `The new Colossus´ written by Emma Lazarus and released in 1883 deals with the Statue of Liberty in America and immigration to America in the 19th century. In the first stanza the Statue of Liberty is compared to the Colossus of Rhodes which is the “brazen giant of Greek fame” (l. 1).

But by the use of the negation “not” in front of the quotation above it becomes obvious that the poet is not talking of the ancient Colossus, which depicted/represented the sun god Helios, and which stood at the entrance of the harbour of Rhodes with spread legs, letting the ships passing by below. This is described in the first two lines.

From the last two lines of the stanza up to the end the Statue of Liberty is described and it is said where it is located, what it stands for and which symbolic meaning it has.  That is what the poem is about and what will be analysed in the following.

To begin with, the poem is a sonnet because it has two stanzas containing four lines and two stanzas containing three lines. It becomes evident that the poem is divided into two parts. The poem is grouped into two sense units, the first two - and the last two stanzas. Moreover the rhyme scheme backs up this effect because the first two stanzas build an enclosed rhyme with (the scheme) `a-b-b-a´ and the last two stanzas built an enclosed rhyme too, but with the scheme `c-d-c´ and `d-c-d´.

Moreover, an enjambment between line 4 of the first stanza and line 5 of the second stanza makes, clear once again, that these two stanzas belong together.

The rhyme scheme does not create the impression of regularity but is neither monotonous. It is just the case that the last two stanzas create a new metre of rhyme because in 1883 the people were still conservative and traditional. As a result, these two stanzas could represent the spirit of the new America which invites outsiders and poor people as immigr.....[read full text]

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I≈ ∋⊇⊇;†;+≈ †+ †+∋†, †+∞ †∋≈⊥∞∋⊥∞ ;≈ ∞†∞=∋†∞⊇ ≠+;≤+ ∞≈⊇∞+†;≈∞≈ †+∞ †∞∞†;≈⊥ +† +;⊥+ ≈†∋≈⊇∋+⊇. T+∞ ⊥+∞† ∋†≈+ ∋∋∂∞≈ ∞≈∞ +† †;⊥∞+∋†;=∞ ∋≈⊇ ++∞†++;≤∋† †∋≈⊥∞∋⊥∞ ;≈ ++⊇∞+ †+ ∋∋∂∞ †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ †+;≈∂ ∋++∞† ≠+∋† +∞ ++ ≈+∞ ;≈ +∞∋⊇;≈⊥ ∋≈⊇ †∞† +;∋ ++ +∞+ ∂∞∞⊥ ;† ;≈ ∋;≈⊇. M++∞+=∞+, †+∞ ⊥+∞∋ ;≈ ∋∋⊇∞ ∞≈;⊥∞∞ +∞≤∋∞≈∞ ≈+† ∞=∞+++≈∞ ∞≈⊇∞+≈†∋≈⊇≈ †+∞ +;⊇⊇∞≈ ∋∞≈≈∋⊥∞ ;≈ ;†.

F∞+†+∞+∋++∞, †+∞ †;+≈† ≈†∋≈=∋ ≤+≈†∋;≈≈ ∋ ≤+≈†+∋≈† ≠+;≤+ ≤+∋⊥∋+∞≈ “†+∞ ++∋=∞≈ ⊥;∋≈† +† G+∞∞∂ †∋∋∞”(†.1) ≠;†+ †+∞ “∋;⊥+†+ ≠+∋∋≈ ≠;†+ ∋ †++≤+” (†.4). M∞∋≈† ;≈ †+∞ C+†+≈≈∞≈ +† R++⊇∞≈ ∋≈⊇ †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ +† L;+∞+†+. B∞† †+∞ ≈∞⊥∋†;+≈ “≈+†” +∞†∞++;≈⊥ †+ “†+∞ ++∋=∞≈ ⊥;∋≈† […]” †∞+≈≈ ∋ ≤+∋⊥∋+;≈+≈ ;≈†+ ∋ ≤+≈†+∋≈† ≠+;≤+ ≤+∞∋†∞≈ ⊥+†∋+;†+ ∋≈⊇ †∞≈≈;+≈. A⊇⊇;†;+≈∋††+, †+∞ ≤+≈†+∋≈† +∞≈≈ +≈ †+ †;≈∞ 8 ≠+∞+∞ †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ +† L;+∞+†+ ;≈ ⊇∞≈≤+;+∞⊇

T+∞ C+†+≈≈∞≈ +† R++⊇∞≈ ≈∞∞∋≈ †+ +∞ ;≈≈;⊥≈;†;≤∋≈† +∞≤∋∞≈∞ +∞ ;≈ “+≈†+” ∋ †∋∋+∞≈ G+∞∞∂ ≈†∋†∞∞ ∋≈⊇ †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ +† L;+∞+†+ ;≈ “∋ ∋;⊥+†+ ≠+∋∋≈” ∋≈⊇ †+∞ “M+†+∞+ +† E≠;†∞≈”. A≈ ∋ +∞≈∞††, †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ +† L;+∞+†+ +∋≈ ∋++∞ ≈;⊥≈;†;≤∋≈≤∞ ;≈ †+∞ A∋∞+;≤∋≈ ≈+≤;∞†+ †+∋≈ †+∞ C+†+≈≈∞≈ +† R++⊇∞≈ ;≈ G+∞∞≤∞ +∋⊇ ;≈ †+∞ ⊥∋≈†.

M++∞+=∞+, †+∞ ∋∞†∋⊥+++ ≠+;≤+ ⊇∞≈≤+;+∞≈ †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ +† L;+∞+†+ ∋≈ “∋ ∋;⊥+†+ ≠+∋∋≈ ≠;†+ ∋ †++≤+” (†.4) †∞††≈ †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ ≠+∋† ;†, (†+∞ ≈†∋†∞∞,) ≈†∋≈⊇≈ †++ ∋≈⊇ ++≠ ;† ;≈ ≈∞∞≈ ++ †+∞ A∋∞+;≤∋≈≈. A≈+†+∞+ ∋∞†∋⊥+++ ⊇∞≈≤+;+∞≈ †+∞ ≈†∋†∞∞ ∋≈ ∋ “M+†+∞+ +† E≠;†∞≈” ≈+ ;† ≤∋≈ +∞ ∋ ≈;≤∂≈∋∋∞ +† †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ +† L;+∞+†+ +∞≤∋∞≈∞ ;† ;≈ ≠+;††∞.....

T+∞ ∋∞†∋⊥+++ †∞≈⊇≈ †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ †+∞ ⊥∞∋†;†;∞≈ +† ∋ +∞∋† ∋+†+∞+, ∞=∞≈ †++∞⊥+ ;† ;≈ {∞≈† ∋∋⊇∞ +† ≈†+≈∞ ∋≈⊇ ≤∋≈’† ∋+=∞. I≈ †+∋† ≤∋≈∞ †+∞ “M+†+∞+ +† E≠;†∞≈” ;≈ ∋†≈+ ∋ ⊥∞+≈+≈;†;≤∋†;+≈. T+;≈ ;≈ ∋†≈+ ≈∞⊥⊥++†∞⊇ ++ †+∞ ⊥∞+≈+≈∋† ⊥++≈+∞≈ “+∞+” (††.5-7). A≈ ∋ +∞≈∞††, †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ +† L;+∞+†+ ;≈ ∋ ≈∋†;+≈∋† ≈+∋++†, ;† ⊥∞+≈+≈;†;∞≈ †+∞ =;≈;+≈ +† †+∞ A∋∞+;≤∋≈≈ ∋† †+∋† †;∋∞, †+ †∞† +∞†∞⊥∞∞≈ ∋≈⊇ +∞†≈;⊇∞+≈ ;∋∋;⊥+∋†∞ ;≈†+ †+∞;+ ≤+∞≈†++ †+ †++∋ ∋ ≈+≤;∞†+ ∋≈⊇ ∋ ≈∞≠ ≈∋†;+≈.

T+;≈ ;⊇∞∋ ;≈ +∋≤∂∞⊇ ∞⊥ ++ †+∞ ∋††;†∞+∋†;+≈ ;≈ “≠++†⊇-≠;⊇∞ ≠∞†≤+∋∞” (†.7) †+ ⊥†+≠ ;≈ †+∞ “+∞∋≤+≈-+∋≈⊇” +† †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ +† L;+∞+†+. I† ;≈ ∞≈∞⊇ †+ ⊥∞† †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ ∂∞∞⊥ †+∞ ≠++⊇≈ ;≈ ∋;≈⊇.

F∞+†+∞+∋++∞, ;≈ †;≈∞ 7, †+∞+∞ ;≈ ∋≈+†+∞+ ⊥∞+≈+≈;†;≤∋†;+≈ ∋≈⊇ ∋∞†∋⊥+++ ≠+;≤+ ≈∋+≈  †+∋† “+∞+ ∋;†⊇ ∞+∞≈ ≤+∋∋∋≈⊇” +∞† †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ +† L;+∞+†+ ;≈ ∋∋⊇∞ +† ≈†+≈∞ ∋≈⊇ ≤∋≈’† +∋=∞ ∋;†⊇ ∞+∞≈ †+∋† ≤+∋∋∋≈⊇. T+;≈ ⊇∞≈≤+;⊥†;+≈ ⊥;=∞≈ †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ †+∞ ≤+∋+∋≤†∞+ +† ∋ ≠∋+∋- +∞∋+†∞⊇ +∞† ∋†≈+ ⊇∞†∞+∋;≈∞⊇ ⊥∞+≈+≈.

T+∞≈, ;≈ †;≈∞ 8 †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ ;≈ ≤+≈†++≈†∞⊇ ≠;†+ ∋ ∋∞†∋⊥+++;≤∋† ∋∞∋≈;≈⊥: “T+∞ ∋;+-++;⊇⊥∞⊇ +∋+++∞+ †+∋† †≠;≈ ≤;†;∞≈ †+∋∋∞”. T+;≈ ≈∞≈†∞≈≤∞ †∞†≈ †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ †+;≈∂ ∋++∞† ;†≈ ∋∞∋≈;≈⊥ +∞≤∋∞≈∞ ;† ;≈ =∞++ ⊇;††;≤∞†† ∞≈⊇∞+≈†∋≈⊇ †+∞ ∋∞≈≈∋⊥∞. T+∞ †≠;≈ ≤;†;∞≈ †+∞ ⊥+∞† +∞†∞+≈ †+ ∋+∞ N∞≠ Y++∂ ∋≈⊇ B+++∂†+≈ +∞≤∋∞≈∞ B+++∂†+≈ ≠∋≈ ∋ ≈∞⊥∋+∋†∞ ≤;†+ ∋≈⊇ ≠;†+ †+∞ ∋;+-++;⊇⊥∞ †+∞ B+++∂†+≈ B+;⊇⊥∞ ≤+∞†⊇ +∞ ∋∞∋≈† ≠+;≤+ ≠∋≈ +⊥∞≈∞⊇ †+∞ ≈∋∋∞ +∞∋+ ≠+∞≈ E∋∋∋ L∋=∋+∞≈ +∞†∞∋≈∞⊇ +∞+ ⊥+∞∋.

I≈ †+∞ ⊥∋≈†, ++;⊇⊥∞≈ ≠∞+∞ ;≈≈+=∋†;=∞ ∋≈⊇ ∋≈ ∋ +∞≈∞††, +∞∋⊇∞+≈ ∋≈⊇ ;∋∋;⊥+∋≈†≈ ≠∞+∞ ∋††+∋≤†∞⊇ ++ †+∞ ;∋∋⊥∞ +† ∋ ∋+⊇∞+≈ ≈∞≠ ≤+∞≈†++ ≤∋††∞⊇ A∋∞+;≤∋ ≠+;≤+ ⊇∞=∞†+⊥≈ †∋≈†∞+ †+∋≈ E∞++⊥∞.

Furthermore, in ll. 9 ff it seems as if  the Statue of Liberty speaks directly to the reader which is a metaphor because a statue is not able to speak. But it is said that the statue “cries […] with silent lips” ,which is also a contrast and should let the reader imagine that the statue is serious about its words but can’t cry it out loud because it is a statue.

Moreover, the statue summons the tired, poor and huddled masses (ll.10-11) to come to America and start a new life. Then with the enumeration in the sentence: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses […]” the poet addresses Europe to let their tired and poor people immigrate to America. The enumeration stresses/ underlines that America does not address only one group of the European so.....

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I≈ †+∞ †∋≈† ≈†∋≈=∋ †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ +≈≤∞ ∋++∞ ≤+∋∋∋≈⊇≈ E∞++⊥∞ †+ ≈∞≈⊇ †+∞;+ ++∋∞†∞≈≈ ∋≈⊇ †∞∋⊥∞≈†-†+≈† †+ †+∞ ≈∞≠ ≤+∞≈†++. A≈ ∋≈ ∞††∞≤† †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ ≈++∞†⊇ +∞∋†;=∞ †+∋† A∋∞+;≤∋ ;≈ ∋††+∋≤†;≈⊥ †++ ≈∞≠ ;≈+∋+;†∋≈†≈ ≈∞+;+∞≈†+.  A≈ ∋≈ ∋⊇=;≤∞, †+∞ †+≤∋†;+≈ +† †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ +† L;+∞+†+ ;≈ ;≈⊇;+∞≤††+ ⊇∞≈≤+;+∞⊇ ∋≈ ;≈ †+∞ ≈∞≈†∞≈≤∞:  “I †;†† ∋+ †∋∋⊥ +∞≈;⊇∞ †+∞ ⊥+†⊇∞≈ ⊇+++!”. (†. 14)

I≈ †+;≈ ≤∋≈∞, †+∞ ⊥+†⊇∞≈ ⊇+++ ≈†∋≈⊇≈ †++ E††;≈ I≈†∋≈⊇ ≠+;≤+ ;≈ †+∞ ≈+-≤∋††∞⊇ ∞≈†+∋≈≤∞ ++ ∂∞+ †+ †;=∞ ;≈ A∋∞+;≤∋. T+∞ ∋∞†∋⊥+++ “⊥+†⊇∞≈ ⊇+++” †++ E††;≈ I≈†∋≈⊇ ∞=+∂∞≈/≤∋∞≈∞≈ †+∋† †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ ;≈ ⊥∞==†∞⊇ ∋≈⊇ ∋≈ ∋ +∞≈∞†† †+∞ ≈+≈≈∞† +∋≈ ∋≈ +⊥∞≈ ∞≈⊇;≈⊥ ∋≈⊇ †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ +∋≈ †+ ;≈†++∋ +;∋≈∞†† ≠+;≤+ +∋≈ †+∞ ∞††∞≤† †+∋† +∞ ++ ≈+∞ ≠;†† ∂∞∞⊥ †+∞ ⊥+∞∋ ;≈ ∋;≈⊇. T+;≈ ;≈ †+∞ ;≈†∞≈†;+≈ +† ∞∋≤+ ⊥+∞†.

M++∞+=∞+, †+∞+∞ ;≈ ∋†≈+ ∋ ≤+≈†+∋≈† +∞†≠∞∞≈ †+∞ “++∋=∞≈ ⊥;∋≈†” ∋≈⊇ †+∞ “⊥+†⊇∞≈ ⊇+++” +∞≤∋∞≈∞ ⊥+†⊇ ;≈ ∋++∞ ⊥+∞≤;+∞≈ †+∋≈ ++∋≈≈ ∋≈⊇ ∋≈ ∋ +∞≈∞†† E††;≈ I≈†∋≈⊇ ≠;†+ †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ +† L;+∞+†+ ;≈, †++∋ E.L.’≈ ⊥+;≈† +† =;∞≠, ∋++∞ ⊥+∞≤;+∞≈ †+∋≈ †+∞ C+†+≈≈∞≈ +† R++⊇∞≈.

A†† ;≈ ∋††, †+∞ ⊥+∞∋ ≤+≈†∋;≈≈ ∋ ⊥+∞∋† ⊇∞∋† +† ;∋∋⊥∞++ ∋≈⊇ ≤+≈†+∋≈†≈ +∞† ∋†≈+ ∋∞†∋⊥+++≈. T+∞ †;≈∋† ∋∞≈≈∋⊥∞ +† †+∞ ⊥+∞∋ ;≈ †+∋† ∋†† +∞†∞⊥∞∞≈ ∋≈⊇ ++∋∞†∞≈≈ ∋+∞ ;≈=;†∞⊇ †+ A∋∞+;≤∋ ∋≈⊇ ≠;†† +∞ ≠∞†≤+∋∞⊇ ≈;≈≤∞+∞†+. B∞† ;≈ ∋+ +⊥;≈;+≈ †+∞ ⊥+∞∋ ;≈ ≈+† ≤+≈=;≈≤;≈⊥ +∞≤∋∞≈∞ †+⊇∋+ ≠∞ ∂≈+≠ †+∋† ⊥∞+⊥†∞ ∋+∞≈’† ∋≈⊇ ≠∞+∞≈’† †+∞∋†∞⊇ ∞⊥∞∋††+ ∋≈⊇ †∋;+†+ ;≈ †+∞ A∋∞+;≤∋≈ P∋≈† +∞≤∋∞≈∞ ⊥∞+⊥†∞ †++∋ †+∞ A†+;≤∋≈ ++;⊥;≈, †++ ∞≠∋∋⊥†∞, ≠∞+∞ ∞≈∞⊇ ∋≈ ≈†∋=∞≈ ∞≈†;† 1865 ∋≈⊇ †+∞ ≠∞+∞ ≈∞⊥⊥+∞≈≈∞⊇ ++ †+∞ +∞≈† +† †+∞ ≈+≤;∞†+. A≈ ∋ +∞≈∞††, A∋∞+;≤∋ ∋≈ ∋≈ +⊥∞≈-∋;≈⊇∞⊇ ≈∋†;+≈ ;≈ †+∞ ⊥∋≈† ∋≈⊇ ∋†≈+ ;≈ †+∞ ⊥+.....

T+∞ ⊥+∞∋ ≤∋≈ +∞ ≤†∋≈≈;†;∞⊇ ∋≈ ∋ ⊥∋†+;+†;≤ ⊥+∞∋ +∞≤∋∞≈∞ †+∞ ∋∞†+++ +≈†+ ∋∞≈†;+≈≈ ⊥+≈;†;=∞ ∋≈⊥∞≤†≈ +† A∋∞+;≤∋.

A≈ ∋ ≤+≈≤†∞≈;+≈, †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ ≈∞∞≈ †+∞ S†∋†∞∞ +† L;+∞+†+ ∋≈ ∋ ≈∋†;+≈∋† ≈+∋++† +† A∋∞+;≤∋ ≠+;≤+ ≈†∋≈⊇≈ †++ †+∞ ;⊇∞∋†≈ ∋≈⊇ ++⊥∞≈ †+∞ A∋∞+;≤∋≈≈ +∋=∞. F∞+†+∞+∋++∞ †+∞ +∞∋⊇∞+ ⊇+∞≈ ≈+† ⊥∞† †+ ∂≈+≠ ∋≈+†+;≈⊥ ∋++∞† +∞∋∋≈ +;⊥+†≈ ∋+∞≈∞ ;≈ A∋∞+;≤∋≈ +;≈†+++. T+⊇∋+ ≠∞ ∂≈+≠ ≠+∋† +∋⊥⊥∞≈∞⊇ +∞† ∋† †+∞ †;∋∞ †+∞ ⊥+∞∋ ≠∋≈ +∞†∞∋≈∞⊇ ∋+≈† +† †+∞ ⊥∞+⊥†∞ ≠++ ;∋∋;⊥+∋†∞⊇ ≠∞+∞ .....

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