The compulsion of desire is indeed a fundamental facet of human nature. In works of literature, poetry, desire for wealth, desire for fame, desire in innumerable permutations propels individuals towards some ultimate ambition, wants. Sir Phillip Sydney's poem Thou Blind Man's Mark engenders the authors own perspicacity on the subject of desire. Employing various poetic devices such as repetition of key words, couplets, to emphasize central ideas, or imaginative but thematically relevant metaphors, Sydney conveys his respective perspective, attitudes towards desire: do not absorb, mindlessly enthrall yourself within self-desires lest you will lose yourself, your desires become you.
"Desire, desire!" Utilizing strategic repetition of choice diction, like in the preceding quotation, rapidly establishes Sydney's stance on desires ensconced in the poetic work. When he repeats with "too, too long" he brings attention to how for too long he has been wrapped in the self serving thralls of his own desires, his compulsion to achieve his desires overriding any and all other aspects more so crucial when he says "who should my mind to higher things prepare." Directly referencing higher more noble causes he simply ignores due to careless wants. "In vain, in vain" in vain, Sydney again uses repetition to emphasize how all of his actions to accomplish his desires have been in vain. "In vain thou maddest me to things aspire" the compulsion of desire as Sydney connotes only caused him grief madness as he could only obsess about those things that he "aspire(s)" or in other words desires. "In vain thou kindlest all thy smoky fire" here thy smoky fire connotes yet again how selfish desire ultimately bears no fruit, kindles only smoke no fire or results, his actions in vain. Thru repetition Sydney reveals the follies of mindless pursuit of desires, emphasizing his own attitudes by way of repeating diction, emphasizing how actions towards only the seizure of self desire are ultimately all "in vain".
"Band of all evils, cradle of careless care" With this metaphor Sydney makes use of the poetic device to clearly and cleverly convey his attitudes towards desire. "band of all evils" or desire, as Sydney furthers, is the root of all dilemma, metaphorical "band of all evils". The later half of the excerpt " cradle of careless care" again conveys Sydney's perception of desire as the conception point birthing recklessness as well as careless self-obsession, forgetting anything and anyone not relevant to his mad lust of desire. "Thou web of will whose end is never wrought" is another notable example Sydney's use of metaphor, the author likening desire as an inextricable web trapping all "will" except those relevant, again, to the pursuit of desires. Never ending, "never wrought" Sydney implements the device of metaphor to convey his attitudes, his seemingly endless torment, despair unable to rest without accomplishing selfish-avarice, his desires never ending, "never wrought".
Ambition is hailed in American culture, utter dedication to achieving a goal, aggressively acquiring our wants, obtaining our desires no matter the cost, perceived as a positive societal trait. Sir Phillip Sydney's Thou Blind Man's Mark warns against such recklessly selfish pursuits of avarice, warns against the blinding mark of desire. Whether it be strategic use of the device of repetition to emphasize the vain of self-vanity, or the instrumentation of metaphors to identify the "web" of inextricable trappings that is desire, binding and blinding all will other than wants, Sydney clearly conveys his perspective, attitudes towards desire. The mark of ignorance, a " blind man" is one who forgets any and all things not relevant to himself, the stigmata of a "blind man" one who forgets, allows his wants, his desires to become him, forgets, forgoes and loses his self in the process.