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AS and A Level: Comparative Essays

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  1. Marked by a teacher

    A Comparison Of 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' And 'Suicide In The Trenches'

    4 star(s)

    "Suicide in the trenches" focuses on the meaningless life in the trenches and that a quick death ends it all where as "Dulce Et Decorum Est" focuses on the suffering and torture of a slow death. Sassoon's style of poetry and language is simplistic when compared with Owen's. He states the bare facts and the wasted life of a soldier and Owen's style is more complicated and complex as effective and brutal imagery is conveyed into the reader's head. It conveys the horrors in details and the slow suffering of a victim of a unexpected yet dreaded gas attack.

    • Word count: 1579
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Presentation of Suffering in Dulce et Decorum est and The Sentry

    4 star(s)

    The selection of the words "The sentry's body" rather than simply "The sentry" gives the idea that the man's body fell down the steps first, and that his mind may have followed later, as if he were in a trance, or were particularly panicked. Owen also uses description based on animals: In Dulce et Decorum est, the soldiers are compared with horses: "But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame". Words such as "den" and "herded" in The Sentry give the idea that the situation is below the most basic standards of civilisation.

    • Word count: 1310
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast 'MCMXIV' by Philip Larkin and 'Six Young Men' by Ted Hughes.

    3 star(s)

    'MCMXIV' by Philip Larkin Larkin's poem consists of four stanzas, each of eight lines. He also makes his poem dependent on only one pair of ending rhymes, on lines four and eight ("Park"/"lark", "play"/"day", "men"/"again" and the half-rhymes "lines" and "limousines"). This means that the poem is less structured than we expect and sounds more natural when spoken out loud. His title is in Latin numerals, "MCMXIV" because this is how the date "1914" would be carved on a war memorial.

    • Word count: 1843
  4. Larkin and Abse on relationships. The essay will discuss this contrast by examing Larkins Whitsun Weddings, Wild Oats and Arundel Tomb, and Dannie Abses Imitations and Sons

    As Larkin sat down on the hot train seat he began to feel a sense of relaxation. At last he could sit quietly and make his observations. The brilliant sunlight was almost blinding and the heat had further heightened the smell emanating from the already very smelly fish dock. So we can sense that the start of the journey is not scenic and the air is not aromatic but Larkin appears reasonably content about his forthcoming journey.

    • Word count: 1901
  5. In both In the Suburbs and Richard Cory, the poets present the concept that having money is not the most significant aspect of life.

    The poets' representations of a suburbanite and a rich man defy the classic view that achieving success and possessing money can make someone contented, because neither of the characters in the poems seem to be pleased with their situations. In both "In the Suburbs" and "Richard Cory," the poets present the concept that having money is not the most significant aspect of life. Living in the suburbs implies that one is neither extremely wealthy nor poor, yet the speaker of the poem is unhappy despite his stable lifestyle.

    • Word count: 1218
  6. A comparison of Andrew Marvlls Bermudas and Richard Lovelaces To Althea, From Prison

    This would have been for his own safety, as the poem was written at a time when criticism of Cromwell was punishable with imprisonment. The poem concludes in another quatrain, once again from the perspective of the narrator. Although it appears rather optimistic in tone, 'Thus sang they...An holy and a cheerful note,' the fact that the sailors are still rowing, 'with falling oars they kept the time,' suggests that they have not landed on the grassy stage mentioned in the song.

    • Word count: 1063
  7. Herbert & Donne compared- an inadequate relationship to God

    Herbert's poetry, is rather straightforward and plain and doesn't contain much complexity, save structurally, and it may be because they are devotional poems to God, and he thus keeps it simple so as to humble himself. The piety of his poetry is really understandable, given that he was in fact a minister until his death in 1633, even choosing to become a rural vicar in favour of his position as Member of Parliament. Suffering from tuberculosis in his later years, it is clear that he became more aware of his mortality and consequently more devout, which is evident in Virtue.

    • Word count: 1055
  8. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud I will in this essay present a short introduction of the romantic hero, the poet, and the significance of the depiction of nature.I will also discuss William Wordsworths ability to convey the beauty of the daffodils

    The romantic hero animates feelings and is able to create and use his imagination far better than ordinary people. The poet is often the protagonist in his own works and only the romantic poets have the ability to convey what they see. Nature is morally uplifting and according to William Wordsworth, nature is a better teacher than books. People take the beauty of nature for granted and cannot see the beauty in the same way as the romantic poets can see it. Next I will characterise the poet and elaborate on his experience of the daffodils. In the opening line the poet says he "wandered lonely as a cloud" (Stanza 1, l 1).

    • Word count: 1215
  9. Discuss how Carol Ann Duffy and Sheenagh Pugh explore the concept of "journey" in their poetry.

    'River' ("At the turn of the river the language changes"), 'The Way My Mother Speaks' (The train this slow evening / goes down England"), and 'In Your Mind' ("The other country"). Moreover, enjambment is utilised throughout the poem; for example, "Do I only / think / I lost a river, culture, speech" in order to visually represent flow, reflecting the physical sense of movement in a journey.

    • Word count: 1306
  10. Compare the ways in which Duffy and Pugh write about violence. In your response, you must include detailed reference to at least two of Duffys poems.

    The aforementioned 'God complex' is augmented later in the stanza by the verb phrase, "I am going to play God" which directly references the omnipotent supernatural deity as though the narrator has the power to wreak endless havoc, and thus use any conceivable level of violence, as she wishes. This is furthered by the use of Biblical language, such as, "I see that it is good." Consequently, the reader realises that the narrator's violence stems from her deluded state of mind; a potential interpretation of this is that Duffy's dissatisfaction with the Thatcher-run government of the 1980's inspired her to

    • Word count: 1078
  11. Love as Joyous

    affair she had soon after her and Ted Hughes split ' - " The child's cry melts in the wall" not only suggests that when with her alleged lesbian partner she's free for the burden of motherhood and can just focus on their passion but also that when being in a homosexual relationship the possibilities of conceiving a child are none an therefore there is no-one else to detract from the bond and overwhelming desire that the 2 have for each other.

    • Word count: 1024
  12. By comparing 'School for Scandal' and 'Rape of the Lock' explore the difference between wit and malice

    The use of heroic couplets satirizes the vanity of society that has turned grand creatures into frivolous items. It is a clear use of bathos where the grand is brought down to an anti climax. This is compounded in the list of items upon her toilet 'Puffs, powders, patches, Bibles, billet-doux'. Pope emerges the highly important item of the bible amongst the less auspicious "puffs, powders, patches" to comment on society's (and women in particular's) lack of priorities or moral standards. The use of alliteration furthers this satire by placing more emphasis on the 'B' in bibles which breaks the pattern.

    • Word count: 1444
  13. Pied Piper Analysis

    Based on his appearance he is not your typical hero, especially when he was "tall and thin" with "a gipsy coat of red and yellow". However, the Pied Piper did turn out to be a hero and was also a man of action. He said he would get rid of the rats and he went straight to them and killed them, straight to the point. He did not mess up at all and let a few rats get away, there was only one rat who survived, with that one going off to tell other rats what had happened.

    • Word count: 1200
  14. Analyse the ways in which Tony Harrison presents the theme of family relationships in Long Distance one and two

    This provides a contrast between the two poems and how they differ in the representation of the family relationships. As we read on, it seems that the first poem is a concise conversation of a father and his son, speaking of the grievance which the father has on account of his wife dying. For the son, this does not seem to be as big of a problem to him, which could therefore portray the emotional distance between the narrator and his family. This is also suggested through the possibility of the son, also living a distance away from his father.

    • Word count: 1943
  15. Othello - A tragic hero

    Othello's character disintegrates before our very eyes through the brisk development of the play and as a result of the growth of the 'green-eyed monster' we in the end are struck by a powerful catharsis; despite Othello's wrongdoings, we feel pity for him and his misfortune. However over the last century the views of two critics have been remarkably influential. A.C. Bradley believes that Othello "has played the hero and borne a charmed life..." and describes him as "a great man...

    • Word count: 1568
  16. Commentary On Hawk Roosting and The Author to Her Book

    This leads to consider an unanswered question of life: Are we the only ones running the show?[W5] An in depth analysis reveals that the author chose to write the poem in a monologue 6 quatrains structure, each resembling a monologue[W6]. Stanza 1 shows that the hawk believes that he is nature's most deadly and perfected creature. Stanza 2 shows that the hawk possesses the arrogance of a king. Stanza 3 emphasizes the complexity and uniqueness of the hawk. Stanza 4 shows the hawk doesn't have good manners.

    • Word count: 1372
  17. Warning by Jenny Joseph and On Ageing by Maya Angelou

    She has decided that she is going to be deliberately difficult and irresponsible. She is desperate to rebel against the norms of responsible adulthood and change the way she has always been " escape from the sobriety of my youth" . The acts she chooses are harmless and humorous and she will be likely to get away with them as people will think she is senile. The fact that all of these things are what she wants to do in the future shows that she has never done this before and so she could be saying that old age is the time for freedom and to escape from the rules in society.

    • Word count: 1299
  18. Comparison of A child said, What is the grass by Walt Whitman and We who were Executed by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

    This showcases the fact that the poet had no other theme other than democracy in all its human and universal applications. American democracy in its numerous manifestations through streets and cities must be vitalized by regular contact with nature, because otherwise it will dwindle and pale. This illustrates his Modernist characteristic. However, it is noteworthy that the poet's writing expression is meticulously systematic. As we move from one stanza to the other, we witness a remarkable movement in the poem.

    • Word count: 1196
  19. Compare 'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger' by William Blake

    This language also reminds me of biblical verses, particularly the New Testament and the book of Revelation. By almost directly copying the first stanza as the last stanza in 'The Tyger' the question asked is implanted in the reader's mind and the ideas re-enforced. The contrast of the phrases 'burning bright' and 'forests of the night' could be metaphorically suggesting that the tiger is like a forest fire, the only thing burning 'bright' through a dark forest which all animals fear.

    • Word count: 1644
  20. Compare the ways in which Heaney and Sheers use their nationality and background in their poems

    Moreover, the poet refers to the soldiers as "Terraced thousands." This shows, not only the military formations that are necessary on a hill but also the artificial manipulation of the environment, again like nature's rebellion against violence. But regardless of how invasive these uprisings may be, they are also portrayed as natural and inevitable. Using the carved wooden "pike" against the melted metal of gun and sword, the Irish rebels seem to be in alliance with the forces of nature.

    • Word count: 1294
  21. Compare the ways in which Heaney and Sheers write about memories. Your response must include detailed discussion of at least two of Heaneys poems

    This gives the poem a very personal feel which highlights not only the importance of this poem to his character but also the importance of this memory of the development of his craft. As Heaney recalls the memory of his Father digging, he shows his love and admiration of their traditional occupation; "By God, the old man could handle a spade". He also seems very proud of his grandfather who "could cut more turf in a day / Than any other man on Toner's bog".

    • Word count: 1136
  22. Disabled

    We come under the impression that Tom is a poet but there is some confusion as to why he is working in a warehouse. There is not a great deal here about Tom apart from a brief relation to the idea of escaping "but to escape he has to act without pity". I will now continue by answering the question as thoroughly as possible. In order to give a full analysis I will approach this essay scene by scene making references to all the key parts.

    • Word count: 1000
  23. Critical interpretation

    Unlike the title, clearly the road had been taken. The speaker feels deflated and less courageous, because many other people had taken the same path. In the first of the four stanzas, "and" appears on lines 2, 3 and 4. This repetition makes the speaker feel like he is questioning and justifying which road to take. It also gives a slow pace but a constant flow when reading. This is added by the rhyme scheme, each stanza apart from the fourth follows an abaab form, drawing emphasis to the last word.

    • Word count: 1769
  24. What characterises the early poetry of World War 1?

    It represents that they no longer have lives because they are soldiers and so do nothing else but fight. It explains this by using past tense, which shows that it no longer exists. The poem 'In Flanders Fields' also shows mans inhumanity to man. This is also because McCrae is trying to show what war was really like and show the insensitive realities of war. "Take up our quarrel with the foe" (In Flanders Fields) This shows that people in war did show inhumanity to the opposition because they were not suppose to be a team together, they are fighting.

    • Word count: 1162
  25. Human Suffering in Lyrical Ballads

    The poem itself is a clear example of Coleridge's censure of the penal system and also his blatant sympathy for those affected by this system. In The Dungeon, various lines describe to the reader the amount of suffering the man is undergoing. Coleridge describes how the man's soul has become "hopelessly deformed". The use of the adjective "deformed" in reference to his "soul" is effective because the word is usually associated with physical appearance, however, as it is his "soul" being deformed, Coleridge illustrates how his suffering is essentially deforming his mind.

    • Word count: 1128

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Discuss how Marvell in "to his coy mistress" and Shakespeare in "sonnet 60" use the concept of time in these poems and to what purpose.

    "In conclusion, these two poems use time and its effects in very much the same way; they both talk about time's inevitability and its effects on beauty and life but they present very different solutions to this problem. It is not a coincidence that both poems have time as a theme because they were written during the 17th century, a time when people were very aware of the increasing proximity of death and the rapid passing of time."

  • Compare and contrast 'MCMXIV' by Philip Larkin and 'Six Young Men' by Ted Hughes.

    "In conclusion, I would say that I prefer Philip Larkin's poem "MCMXIV" to Ted Hughes's "Six Young Men". Ted Hughes' poem felt very repetitive sometimes. I thought he was saying the same thing over and over again at the end of every stanza without making his message deeper or more interesting. The violence is also too graphic and doesn't really move me. Larkin's view of the war is more subtle but he still gives us an insight to the war and his version of life is more realistic. "Leaving the gardens tidy" is a very sad little personal detail because it seems so pointless and innocent and I think it rings more true than Hughes's general descriptions of corpses and grenades."

  • Compare the poems 'Upon his Leaving his Mistress' by John Wilmot and '[I am very bothered when I think]' by Simon Armitage.

    "In conclusion both Wilmot and Armitage in the poems discussed employ several formal features. These include repetition, sound patterning, different rhyme forms, stress on certain syllables to create particular metres and alliteration. Formal features are devised to provide meaning, acoustic effects and aesthetic effects to the poems. Name: Jason Tyler Student No.: 05043156 Module: U67010 Approaching Poetry (Assignment 2)"

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