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

Critical Appreciation of 'The City of Orange Trees' 'The City of Orange Trees' by Dick Davis is a detached commentary on human civilization's

Extracts from this document...


Critical Appreciation of 'The City of Orange Trees' 'The City of Orange Trees' by Dick Davis is a detached commentary on human civilization's decadence. A medieval Persian scholar who expressed a commitment to the ideal of civilized life, Davis has written this poem, I think, to demonstrate the inevitability of society's destruction because of mankind's addiction with materialism. Beginning the poem with an aphorism which declares that a city is about to self-destruct, Davis condemns lives which have become materialistic, demonstrates how complacence is the seed for their destruction, and later on introduces an intellectual, a diplomat, who read the aphorism, and on whom the fate of this city now hinges. With degeneration of human creativity as one of his main themes, Davis uses a particular city, the City of Orange Trees, as his setting. His symbolic diction goes a long way in emphasizing the ostentatious lifestyles of its inhabitants, with the titular 'orange' first of all referring to gold, or success, since oranges are valuable gifts in many cultures. ...read more.


Tamburlaine obviously wants to capture this city and loot its corpus of aesthetics. The people, however, seem oblivious to their fate. One of Davis' key ideas is that such indifferent attitudes have been cultivated through generations. Hence, his use of 'the child', followed by 'children's children', and 'three generations', all refer to the deterioration that has been taking place through generations. What I find particularly striking is that Davis doesn't use the common word 'grandchildren', opting instead for 'children's children', which not only stands out because of the repetition, but also makes clear the inter-generational link. The point Davis is getting to is probably that three generations have been inculcated to believe in 'aesthetics' and 'luxuries', and thus the 'zeal for conquest, prayer', has decayed. I think 'prayer', the apposition for 'zeal of conquest', means a yearning for purity and inner salvation, something that children have actually come to deride as senseless, because in the next line Davis writes that 'the child / mocks pieties he cannot feel'. ...read more.


Indeed, the apathetic, emotionally-uninvolved tone that notes a sword falling and a city burning suggests that these are just a part of a sequence of things that have been predestined. A last note on the intellectual - he is portrayed as a person with refined taste, because silk rustles as he moves. 'Rustled' is somewhat mimetic, and creates an audible image of the man rising and turning. The meter, normally a rigorous iambic tetrameter, seems to impart a sense of dignity and refinement to this character. However, in 'turning', it changes to a trochee, and thus simulates an actual change in the man's position. Now he isn't just a collector of information - he is an activist, who must 'parley now for peace' with Tamburlaine. Davis doesn't reveal the outcome of this negotiation, and instead chooses to end the poem on a note of suspense, and more so dread, because Tamburlaine is given the epithet of 'world conqueror', which is unambiguous in its meaning that even the City of Orange Trees is part of the world, and hence it will be conquered. ...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)

    Kip is touched by the fact that this "true English gentleman" would look past his race and take him under his wing. It becomes evident that Kip feels closer to his English family than to his Indian one. Though he talks sadly about his mentor Lord Suffolk and his premature

  2. The enticing themes of human desires and dreams in the city acts as a ...

    Morrison cleverly mimics the idea of a piece of jazz music, and incorporates this theme into her writing by allowing the omniscient narrator to play the role of the main jazz background, and giving each other characters a solo part to play, allowing them to pitch themselves reflecting on their own attitudes towards jazz music.

  1. Explore the presentation of the individual against society in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's ...

    The Minister adopts a pragmatic approach to political problems, seeing in the Ludovico Technique a means of freeing up increasingly congested prison cells. His personal mantra, 'the point is that it works' demonstrates the cold, 'end justifying means' approach that Burgess was fiercely opposed to.

  2. Discuss this interpretation of Iagos role in the light of the critical views you ...

    "Hell and night must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light" (1.3.395-396). In this line, hell and night is referring to Iago, he is devilish and had subtle up his plan. However, this adds to his sense of villainy which in my opinion makes him appear a less believable character.

  1. Write a Critical Commentary of both La Belle Dame Sans Merci, and The Lady ...

    In the fourth stanza, Lord Tennyson again brings into disrepute this feeling of loneliness for the lady of shallot, depicting her as so solitary that 'only reapers, reaping early' 'hear a song that echoes cheerly'. Lord Tennyson has inflicted another wonderful sense of imagery amongst the reader, as one can

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

    There is a change from past tense to present tense: "I was a nuisance, / It is my father" Heaney is now the strong farmer and his father the nuisance. His father now follows him asking questions and giving orders, feeling stranded as he is elderly, unfit and unable to do the farm needs.

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