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

Compare The Way In Which "Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes" by Thomas Gray and "London" by John Dryden Present A Sense Of Tragedy In Their Poems.

Extracts from this document...


Compare and Contrast The Way In Which Gray and Dryden Present A Sense Of Tragedy In Their Poems. Both the poems differ by a hundred years, but the style and language is very similar. Dryden's poem is much more serious and talks about an actually quite serious point. Gray's poem on the other hand is much more designed to be mock heroic using very elevated, serious language for a trivial meaning. Dryden's poem uses iambic pentameter with all the lines but one being end -stopped. This forces a slower, solemn reading which emphasises the grimness of the poem. Throughout the poem he uses a lot of death imagery such as "A dismal picture", "Haunting" and "murder'd men". Also in each verse there is a definite feel of displacement with such lines as "To a last lodging call their wand'ring friends." The author of this poem conveys the feeling of a widely spread tragedy rather than a personal one like the other poem. "A dismal picture of the gen'ral doom." In the first verse of Dryden's poem he uses a metaphor to present another death image, "And half unready with their bodies come." This is implying that their bodies are being readied for death almost. ...read more.


"An Infant, waking, to paps would press, and meets instead of milk a falling tear." This just presents a final image of sadness of a mother feeding her child and as she cries because of the sadness around her, her tears role down her face then onto her chest and down her breast and instead of milk the baby gets a mouthful of the mother's tears. The second poem deals with a much more trivial personal tragedy but talks about it using the same type of elevated language as Dryden's poem. This poem uses iambic tetrameter but lines three and six are iambic trimetre. This variation forces a faster reading. Throughout the poem he praises this cat comparing it to a "Nymph" and talking of it in such a way as to emphasize the looks of this cat. The author personifies the cat as being the "Demurest" and "pensive". He also goes into great detail about its looks "The velvet of her paws" and it talks of her "emerald eyes". All this personification is to builds up the character of the cat and sets a pleasant scene at the start of the poem. The author also uses quite a lot of hyperbole in order to set a quite elevated image in the readers head. ...read more.


The first poem tells the story and vividly describes the sadness and feelings of the people involved in the fire. Whereas the second poem is treated with a bit more levity and light-heartedness causing the reader to read it in a more up-beat, lively manner. Especially in the second poem there seems to be a lot more hyperbole in order to build up the events leading up to the drowning and it is told almost like a fable where you know what is going to happen and what the cat should no do yet it still happens and that is why the reader does not take it as seriously as the first poem. The second poem has a element of dramatic irony as the reader can guess that the cat is going to slip into the bowl but obviously the cat does not. A key point in both the poems is that the first poem you can picture happening and there is no trace of humour in it whilst in the second poem you can imagine a cat trying to catch fish by sweeping its paw in the surface of the water than accidentally falling in and there is an element of humour there. Moreover you can empathize with the people in the burning city yet you cannot empathize with the cat. This causes you take the first poem a lot more seriously. ...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 Carol Ann Duffy 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 Carol Ann Duffy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    Clifton was wealthy and had his own plane, a convenience that would make their search much easier. The party was initially surprised that Clifton had brought his wife, but the patient says he thinks they accepted her politely enough. There seemed to be a large culture gap between the Cliftons and the explorers.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Within the three texts, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Look back in Anger by ...

    4 star(s)

    are all trying to make sense of their changing world by looking at the past. However all three writers are nostalgic of different things representing the different figures in society they portray in the works. Larkin predominately does this through the presentation of the urbanisation and commercialisation of Britain in the time he was writing in.

  1. Compare and contrast the ways in which the writers of 'Frankenstein' and 'The Picture ...

    outside party, the more likely scapegoats are those who have the most direct contact with him. The effect of external influence on characters is particularly evident in Frankenstein with the relationship between the monster and his creator, which could be considered to have direct parallels to Milton's Paradise Lost.

  2. Comparison between scientific advancements in Frankenstein and Dorian Gray

    These two aspects of the Prometheus story, creation and transgression, complicate the image of the scientist represented by Victor Frankenstein. Victor Frankenstein could be compared with Dr Faustus, a man who desires to know the secrets of the universe, and sells his soul to Satan.

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

    Perhaps just like their teacher they too have become disillusioned. This poem is entitled 'My Last Duchess', it deals with the relationship a man had with his late wife and how he felt about her and her nature and how he never understood her.

  2. Comparing the Role of Women in Sense and Sensibility and Othello

    Grey, a rich lady, for her money and to avoid poverty, he dumps Marianne for Miss. Grey. Mrs. Jennings says that when a man promises a lady that he will marry her and loves her, he has no right to leave his word and go to another woman just because she's rich.

  1. Translations and Things Fall Apart, examine how Friel and Achebe present the issue of ...

    (1995, p. 288) Thiong'o is asserting that the use of English was imposed upon many of the African tribes and with it the enforcement of superiority and supposed civilisation...to use Gikuyu was to be made to feel inferior and stupid, and to speak English fluently would be the height of education achievement.

  2. Explore the corruption of morality and its consequences within the texts of Othello, The ...

    During the Victorian era people took literal truth and moral ethics from the bible and because of this, it was thought that if religion were accepted by all, ?evil? forces would not be able to corrupt humankind. But Wilde challenges this through a provocative statement that ?great sins of the world take place? ?in the brain, and the brain only?.

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