• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and Contrast The Grauballe Man(TM) and Punishment(TM) by Seamus Heaney

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and Contrast 'The Grauballe Man' and 'Punishment' by Seamus Heaney Both poems are inspired by Heaney's fascination with 'bog people' - age-old corpses preserved naturally by bogs. The Grauballe man concerns a photograph of a "bog man" found by Heaney. Heaney creates a vivid connection between the bog and man throughout the poem. As we see in the first stanza, the man 'lies on a pillow of turf and seems to weep the black river of himself'. The man and bog seem to be one with 'the black river of himself'. They appear linked and connected. The atmosphere seems calm and tranquil. The man, although brutally murdered, seems somewhat relaxed and peaceful; he 'lies on a pillow of turf'. The idea of connection between bog and man continues as Heaney writes, 'the grain of his wrists is like bog oak'. Heaney seems to suggest that he has been there so long, they have almost merged together to become one being. Over time, the man has gradually become part of the bog; they have a mutual relationship. This theme continues as the man's 'instep' is described as being like a 'wet swamp root'. The man has gradually become at one with his surroundings, to the point that he and the swamp have effectively fused into one being. ...read more.

Middle

The verbs used are forceful and aggressive such as, 'tug', 'shake' and 'drowned'. This all amounts to create a feeling of tension, aggression and unease. The language used in the first half of 'The Grauballe Man' is very dissimilar. Heaney uses longer, smoother sounding words. He employs long vowel sounds in words such as 'poured' and 'grain', creating a much more relaxed mood. This relaxed mood, however, is abruptly broken as Heaney unexpectedly uses the phrase 'slashed throat'. It is a stark contrast to the language we have heard up to this point. So far, the language used has been smooth and gentle, opposite to the harsh, coarse sounding 'slashed throat'. It completely breaks the atmosphere of the poem. The harsh sounds emphasise the brutality of the wound. This continues with 'tanned and toughened'. Yet this is only a brief lapse in mood, as the poem reverts to its previous state. The language is again calm. Heaney manages to find beauty in even the most brutal element of the man with 'the cured wound opens inwards to a dark elderberry place'. He sees rich, deep colour in the savage wound. Both poems experience similar changes in focus half way through. The focus changes from just description to thought and consideration of the described. ...read more.

Conclusion

Heaney describes himself to 'connive in civilized outrage, yet understand the exact and tribal, intimate revenge'. Although he would appear to be outraged, he says he understands the 'tribal' revenge. The use of the word tribal is also very significant; as there were tribes hundreds of years ago at the time of the dead girl, there are now - Catholics and Protestants. He is consumed by guilt at the sight of the brutalised corpse, as he sees he is no better than those who killed the girl. In much the same way, Heaney also relates 'The Grauballe Man' to modern day Ireland. As we see with 'hung in the scales...with the dying Gaul...with the actual weight of each hooded victim slashed and dumped' he compare death of a warrior Gaul with the futile, anonymous deaths of present day sectarian victims. Both poems follow this format, ending by relating the bodies to modern day Ireland. Both poems are concerned with the cyclical nature of humanity. Heaney aims to show that although societies change and we develop fraudulent notions of how civilized we are, we remain intrinsically the same. We are always capable of committing the most horrific acts of brutality. He is trying to tell us that there will always be fighting tribes and they with never differ hugely. Images from two thousand years ago match perfectly with the headlines of Ireland in the period of the Troubles. Euan O'Byrne Mulligan ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    new leader of the troop - but Kip finds the shoes too big to fill and escapes. Madox: Madox is the English patient's best friend in the desert. He ultimately commits suicide because he believes the Church is promoting war instead of withdrawing from it.

  2. The Use of The Four Elements in The Wars

    Robert uses breath as a way to connect to his mother and it may symbolize his Mother-child relationship with her. After Robert is beaten by the soldier who had come to kill Rowena's rabits, he had gone for a bath to nurse his wounds.

  1. A Comparison of the imagery and symbolism in Birdsong and Fair Stood the Wind ...

    There is of course the very clich�d, and very 'natural' rebirth at the end of the novel. A rebirth is regularly used to signal an end to the suffering and a new start beginning, yet I find it hard to comprehend that Faulks, a writer of such depth and imagination, would manipulate such a common and predictable symbol.

  2. Trying To Find No Place

    In 1984 the protagonist Winston Smith, is a very depressed fellow, due to the oppression of his government. He, much like Jack from The Hero, and Alex from A Clockwork Orange, chooses not to follow a boring lifestyle. Instead he searches for something that will bring them some excitement and

  1. Dr Faustus and The Man Who Would Be King on Power

    Practical Jokes Once he gains his awesome powers, Faustus does not use them to do great deeds. Instead, he delights in playing tricks on people: he makes horns sprout from the knight's head and sells the horse-courser an enchanted horse.

  2. Compare and contrast images of heroism in these two poems.

    One such way this was done was by having neither of the main characters as all powerful rulers; in fact each Beowulf and Gawain served some sort of higher authority. Beowulf, throughout approximately 2/3 of the story serves Hrothgar. Similarly, Gawain was not ruler of his domain but served King Arthur.

  1. 'Follower' by Seamus Heaney, 'Last Lesson of the Afternoon' By D.H. Lawrence and 'My ...

    Heaney mentions his father's "eye/ Narrowed and angled" to show how precise his father kept the lines. Heaney uses the description of "exactly" to give the impression of his father's experience and skill at manoeuvring the plough. In the fourth stanza he tells us of how he "stumbled" in his father's "hob-nailed" boots wake.

  2. Compare the ways in which Duffy and Heaney write about unhappiness and suffering. In ...

    The use of language in Lizzie, Six is vulgar, particularly towards the end of the poem; Duffy uses this to show how the level of abuse and suffering worsens throughout the poem and over time and transitions from mental to physical suffering.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work