Poem Analysis

‘What Is Our Life?’ was written by Sir Walter Raleigh who lived from 1552 until
his death in 1618. Sir Walter Raleigh was an aristocrat, a writer, a poet, a solider, and
an explorer. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1585 for the English colonization
of North America. This philosophical poem is a sixteenth century poem.
This poem is written in the first person’s view: ‘we’ and ‘our’. The themes are
‘play or theatre’, ‘monotony of life’. ‘life and death’. ‘phases of life’, and ‘the inevitably of
death’. The tones of this poem are serious, bitter, and unworthy of life. This poem only
has one stanza with ten lines. It has a rhyme scheme of ‘aabbccddee’.
The stanza starts with a rhetorical question: ‘What is our life?’ The speaker
answers himself by saying life is ‘A play of passion’. ‘A Play of passion’ was a medieval
play that was performed in a church which was about Jesus Christ and his sufferings.
‘Our mirth the music of division’ tells about the enjoyment