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How do the Poets create a sense of mystery in these poems?

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Introduction

How do the Poets create a sense of mystery in these poems? The Listeners by Walter de la Mare and Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley both immediately convey a sense of mystery as they are set in the past. Ozymandias revisits the very distant past and The Listeners revisits the past in the lifetime of a single man. Shelley uses the technique of a story within a story to create mystery, where de la Mare uses an account. However they both make use of a lone traveller who visits lonely places to evoke a sense of fear, encouraging you to think about what might have happened in these places and that events could have been very sinister. ...read more.

Middle

Both poets cleverly use imagery to create pictures in our minds. De la Mare uses very detailed and lengthy descriptions, which build mystery and suspense and make you feel as if you are watching the lone traveler: Knocking on the moonlit door; ("The Listeners", line 2, Walter de la Mare) This makes you feel very apprehensive. Shelley's descriptions in Ozymandias are more limited and rather abrupt, which I think creates mystery because the reader has to use their imagination to picture events clearly. The poems differ at this point because in The Listeners, de la Mare's setting is full of life, for example he describes trees, turf, grass and a horse. In contrast to Ozymandias, where Shelley uses bleak descriptions of a setting, which indicates an extremely barren and empty expanse. ...read more.

Conclusion

("Ozymandias", line 14, Percy Bysshe Shelley) But de la Mare creates a feeling of stillness, quiet and distance with: And how the silence surged softly backwards, When the plunging hoofs were gone. ("The Listeners", lines 35 & 36, Walter de la Mare) By using this alliteration right at the end of the poems and the 'S' sound all the way through, both poets have finished with mystery and quiet foreboding of what might be. I think that both poems are telling a ghost story. They are quite frightening and very mysterious. Out of the two my favourite is the listeners. I prefer this as I think it is a clear story, which made me feel on edge. Where I found Ozymandias too vague and without a clear ending. Louise Thomas GCSE English 03/04 ...read more.

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