Essay by incikosekliUniversity, Bachelor'sB, November 2014

download word file, 2 pages 0.0


The following poem is concerned with language and the unique connotations associated with certain, seemingly synonymous words. Read the poem carefully and complete the explication prompts that follow. Then respond to the following prompt in your LRJ:

Write an essay in which you analyze the author's use of diction, particularly connotative and denotative diction, as well as other literary devices, to offer social and cultural commentary to the audience.

To the Naked and the Nude

By Robert Graves

NAME: < type your response here>

Explication worksheet Mr. Rose 2

For me, the naked and the nude

(By lexicographers construed

As synonyms that should express

The same deficiency of dress

Or shelter) stand as wide apart 5

As love from lies, or truth from art.

Lovers without reproach will gaze

On bodies naked and ablaze;

The Hippocratic eye will see

In nakedness, anatomy; 10

And naked shines the Goddess when

She mounts her lion among men.

The nude are bold, the nude are sly

To hold each treasonable eye.

While draping by a showman's trick 15

Their dishabille in rhetoric,

They grin a mock-religious grin

Of scorn at those of naked skin.

The naked, therefore, who compete

Against the nude may know defeat; 20

Yet when they both together tread

The briary pastures of the dead,

By Gorgons with long whips pursued,

How naked go the sometime nude!


1. Literal content. Before you try to explain and interpret, you must understand what is literally happening. Ask yourself these questions:

Who is the speaker (narrator) or what kind of person is the speaker?

type your response here

What is the occasion or context of the poem? (For what reason was the poem written?)

type your response here

2. Summarize. Once you have...