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02/28/2010
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An essay on Chess by Rosario Castellanos

  1. Introduction
  2. Elements of the poetry
  3. Poetry style
  4. The obvious theme of the poem
  5. The emotional tone of the poem
  6. The imagery in the poem
  7. A biographical interpretation of the piece
  8. Conclusion
  9. Works cited

In this essay I will be analyzing and interpreting the poem “Chess” written by Rosario Castellanos. The analysis will explore the elements of poetry found in the poem as well as the style and structure of the poem. The interpretation will cover the poem’s theme, emotional tone, and imagery as well as how the author’s personal attributes may be used to gather a deeper interpretation of her work.

Many elements of poetry are incorporated in the poem “Chess.” While it avoids more structured elements like rhyme and meter, it nevertheless has some brief instances of assonance.

[...] First, the original relationship of the chess players is described, then the beginning of the game, and finally a summary of the players’ true intentions. The ideas represented by the first and third strophes are for the most part abstract, making the second strophe the only part of the poem that includes any concrete imagery, and even this is the simplest of images: setting up a board, dividing pieces, beginning the match. It is clear that while the poem is entitled, the real focus is on the players themselves. [...]


[...] The syntax of the piece is used much the same way, especially in the first strophe where the author places the subordinate clause at the beginning of the sentence in order to put more emphasis on the relationship between the chess players. This poem is obviously written in the free verse style with no specific form in terms of number of stanzas or lines per stanza. The line breaks are sometimes natural and sometimes used quite effectively to emphasize a word or phrase or give it a double meaning. [...]

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