Dealing With Your Inner-Self
John Milton’s When I consider how my light is spent, William Shakespeare’s My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun, and Elizabeth Gilbert’s, One Word all share the common theme and idea of an inner self journey and the relationships we have with ourselves. The relationships examined here are all suffering in some way.
Milton’s, When I Consider How My Light Is Spent tells the very personal story of Milton’s life as a blind man. The poem shows his self toil over the fact that he cannot see. He is trying to continue to be a successful and contributing person in society. One of the most effective ways for him to do so is through his poetry. So when he says “ And that one talent which is death to hide” the talent he is referring to is poetry. You can tell that he is having a hard time dealing with the issue because he uses words like lodged useless to describe his eyes, and he mentions that his soul is bent. He wants to serve God in the best way he can so that when he reaches heaven he will be accepted, but he feels he can’t do so being blind, but in the end he is comforted with the idea that “They also serve who only stand and wait.” So in this poem he see the narrator struggle with him self, then ultimately reach peace. In this poem Milton covers the relationship he has with himself, God, and the other around him that he wishes to help and serve.
Shakespeare likes to poke fun at love in his poem entitled My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun. Here he is describing the type of relationship a certain man has with a women. He goes on to make a list of things that are wrong with her: her lips are not as red as coral, she has wirey black hair, she doesn’t smell of perfume, etc. In my opinion I think he does such things because he is lacking his own self-confidence. By finding imperfections in others he is boosting his self-esteem and forgetting about he feels he is lacking.
In the last selection Elizabeth Gilbert again discusses relationships with yourself. In this expert of the book, Eat, Pray, Love we hear about a woman’s story of finding herself. The most interesting part of this is when she decided she can no longer stay in Rome because she just doesn’t fit in there. When speaking to her friend’s husband about this problem he tells her that the word of Rome is sex, that’s what mostly everyone is thinking about majority of the time. When asked how she would describe herself she has no idea, the only thing she knows is that her word is not sex. Oddly the next day she goes out and buys tons of lingerie when she has nobody to wear it for. She is so confused about the direction her life is going right now that she just wants to escape to India. When we finish this excerpt she is still confused and trying to determine who she really is.
We all have our own relationships with ourselves and deal with ourselves on our own terms. In the readings just discussed these self-relationships are failing and the protagonists are struggling with themselves. John Milton is lost in life and feel that because he is blind he is no longer a successful community member, Shakespeare alludes to the fact that the man he is talking about may be lacking confidence in himself which is why he picks on his lover, and lastly the woman from Gilbert’s book doesn’t know where she belongs in this stage of her life. Ultimately in life we will all encounter these struggles, the key is just learning to handle them.