Each Man Kills the Thing he Loves

Text analysis

We can divide the text into stanzas of 6 lines. (The whole poem consists of 109 stanzas). The length of the lines is quite regular: the poem presents eight-syllables lines alternate with six-syllables ones.

The rhyme scheme is quite regular as well: ABC BDB. We can find internal rhymes in some of the eight-syllables lines.

Sources: The poem was written in 1897, after Wilde's release while he was in France. It was probably inspired by a true story. While Wilde was serving his own sentence a soldier was brought to Reading Goal to be sentenced to death. This fact had an enormous impact on the prisoners because it was the first hanging that occurred in Reading in 18 years.

LnT suggests

LnT Read about the genre: the ballad

LnT Video about the genre: the ballad