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AS and A Level: Comparative Essays

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 4
  1. Compare the way Larkin and Plath present human relationships in their poems.

    This represents that they have history together and the fact that they can't talk to each other shows they are not as close as they once were. The use of the word 'emblem' symbolises the relationship between two people which is shown by the act of lying in bed together. It may also refer to what is supposed to be ideal, which is being together, however this is overshadowed by the ordinary and mundane life that they lead, therefore 'emblem' is ironic as Larkin is actually describing the opposite of this idea.

    • Word count: 2466
  2. Examine the use of the dramatic monologue in the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy

    Midas tells the untold story of the well-known Greek myth King Midas, who is miraculously, granted the wish of turning everything he touches into gold. As with all the poems in The World's Wife, the title is a clear giveaway of what the poem is about to entail, and this is no different. Mrs. Midas, the wife of King Midas is the persona of this particular monologue and here she voices her thoughts on her husband's newfound ability. "The kitchen filled with the smell of itself."

    • Word count: 2214
  3. emily dickinson

    The ultimate isolation, death is a common theme in many of Dickinson's work. In poems such as "I Died for Beauty," "I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died," and "The Chariot," she shares her dark, yet optimistic views on death. Dickinson shows truth and reality; the true nature of God, and the state of the soul. As a result of separating herself from others' beliefs, Emily Dickinson led a lonely life and this is thoroughly demonstrated in her poetry.

    • Word count: 2064
  4. In what ways, and how, does Elizabeth Barrett Browning convey deep and eternal love in the poem How Do I Love Thee? from the Sonnets from the Portuguese XLIII?

    This poem was written when she was forty years old and she writes with a certain innocence, mixed with a mature, womanly outlook. Elizabeth Barrett Browning secretly married Robert Browning, who was six years her junior and the two set out for Italy to escape her domineering father. The poem "How Do I Love Thee?" is part of a sequence written by Barrett Browning during this period of her life and the poem is a declaration of love to her new husband.

    • Word count: 2745
  5. I have decided to look at 'God's Grandeur' by G.M Hopkins, 'Death be Not Proud' by John Donne and also 'Shall I Compare thee to a Summer's Day' by William Shakespeare. The reasons the poems were wrote and also the time

    The two main forms of the sonnet are the Petrarchan and Shakespearean. Petrarchan is split into two stanzas an octave followed by a sestet with the sestet being used to reflect or sum up the octave of the sonnet. In contrast, the Shakespearian style of sonnet was to divide the 14 lines into three quatrains and a couplet but like the Petrarchan style, it has the change in emphasis, although it is a shorter couplet used for summing the sonnet up. This poem 'Shall I Compare thee to a Summer's Day?' is one of Shakespeare's most famous sonnet and also one of his finest, throughout the centuries since Shakespeare wrote the sonnet

    • Word count: 2114
  6. Cross Genre Comparison - 'Blackberries' by Leslie Norris and 'Blackberry Picking' by Seamus Heaney.

    But, by reading and studying the texts we can see there are many themes in common. Both texts focus very strongly on the themes of growing up and facing disappointment. Norris describes the boy's disappointment when his parents are arguing and Heaney uses it when he discovers the rotten berries. So in this way and many others the texts content and themes are similar even though the texts were written at different places and by two very different authors. In the poem 'Blackberries' Heaney portrays his memories of his childhood. The poem is set out in two stanzas with no apparent rhymes scheme.

    • Word count: 2115
  7. The poem's 'I am not that women' by Kishwar Naheed and 'women work' by mayo Angelou show the struggles of two black women from different cultures. Compare and contrast the two women's experiences.

    'I am not that women' is a poem by Kishwar Naheed, it displays the issues of discrimination against women and how men treated them. The title of this poem is a strong positive sentence ' I am not that women' she (whether it be the poet or a made up women) is not the usual women who is treated harshly by men, she is the women who is going to stand up for the right of equal-ness! This gives the poem a bit of authority at the start.

    • Word count: 2563
  8. The lives and works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Emily Dickinson may be different in many ways, but there are existential treads that bind these two people together by similarities.

    This poem was ?The Battle of Marathon? (?Elizabeth Barrett Browning?). ?Elizabeth experienced her first sorrow in 1828 when her mother Mary suddenly died? (?Elizabeth Barrett Browning?). ?By the time Elizabeth had moved to London, her health was poor and she suffered from a spinal injury and shown signs of a lung condition but was never diagnosed? (?Elizabeth Barrett Browning?). However in these conditions Elizabeth never seemed to give up her love for poetry. Shortly after Elizabeth?s brother, Edward, drowned in a boating accident on his way back to London (?Elizabeth Barrett Browning?).

    • Word count: 2453
  9. Women are dismissed as insignificant in both the poetry of Larkin and Eliot. How far do you agree with this view?

    In A Game of Chess, Eliot parodies Cleopatra in the opening, to use as a contrast between the erotic, natural and regal Cleopatra and the ?synthetic? and oppressive nature of the woman persona, illustrating the corruption of sex and romance. This is reflected in Eliot?s vivid descriptions; the nightingales ?inviolable? voice falls on ?dirty ears? whilst the ?world pursues? showing the attempt to corrupt something that was once pure; real love and relationships. ?Withered stumps? suggests a transformation from vitality to stasis, reflecting the change of sex from meaningful to meaningless.

    • Word count: 2262
  10. Sir Philip Sidneys poem The Nightingale and Amy Clampitts poem Syrinx are two very different poems

    The effect of this is to highlight that The Nightingale is a very regular poem, where Syrinx is a very irregular poem. It is as if Amy Clampitt teases the reader by making the first two stanzas of equal length, then throws in another couple of lines at the end. This therefore highlights her desire to make the poem seem irregular. This difference in regularity can also be seen through the metre of the poems. The Nightingale is mainly iambic pentameter throughout, with hypermetrical stresses on each of the last words in each line.

    • Word count: 2707

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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