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Language and Literature Assignment. Analyse 'The Stolen Child' By W.B Yeats.

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Language and Literature Assignment. Analyse 'The Stolen Child' By W.B Yeats Shell Woodward Lecturer Sarah Mills The aim of this essay is to analyse W.B Yeat's poem, 'The Stolen Child', by concentrating on his use of literary devices. By carefully analysing the features of language he has used to create the poem I aim to discover how their effects contribute to the overall meaning. The literary devices I will be concentrating on the most shall be metaphor, metonymy and sound patterning. Metaphor & Metonymy W.B Yeats has used an abundance of figurative language throughout the poem. The most prominent is his use of both metaphor and metonymy in the refrain that is repeated four times at the end of each stanza (changing slightly in the final stanza). The refrain consists of four lines but it is in the fourth line, written in iambic heptameter, that contains the most significant figurative language of the entire poem. "The world's more full of weeping than you can understand" Here 'the world' metonymically stands for the child's reality, his society and life, not the literal meaning of soil, gases and water that make up the earth's core. ...read more.


The lexis 'wild' hold many connotations but within this context it refers to the lack of rules that the child's reality would contain. Basically the faery is promising the child total freedom as well as the pleasure, fun and abundance of ripe fruits from the land. From this we can clearly see how the effects of Yeats use of figurative language and parallelism build up the faeries enticement technique to tempt the child from his world. It isn't until the final stanza and after the child's allegiance has been secured that the faery reveals some positive aspects of the child's world. This is how Yeats has managed to depict the faery as a tempter to mankind. It confirms our suspicions that were drawn from previous stanzas through the faeries ambiguity. In these stanzas the faery repeats (in the refrain) the troubles of the world but never confronts them directly. It never clearly states what these 'troubles' actually are instead he uses figurative language, playing on the connotations that the child would draw from them. In the final stanza the faeries tone shifts from persuasive to smugness. ...read more.


Each end rhyme contains strong connotations. Bubbles extend the idea of the faeries world being full of fun and nice things while the child's world is simply full of troubles. More literary devices have been used in this poem to compliment and create effects like the ones already discussed. They all aid the poet to express his intended meaning. One of these devices is onomatopoeia. On line thirty-three the lexis 'whispering' is a word that sounds like the action. The inclusion of onomatopoeia helps create vivid imagery as the strong sound of the word immediately depicts a clear image of what is being described. Alliteration has also been used throughout the poem. For example, 'wandering water' and 'seek for slumbering trout'. This effect aids the imagery and the repetition of the consonants on the onset position makes the poem sound pleasurable, which also makes the faeries tone appeal to the child, hence assisting the temptation. In conclusion by analysing use of metaphor, metonymy and sound patterning in this poem by W.B Yeats I have discovered how each literary device assists the other to highlight key points in the faeries enticement plan. On their own they each create imagery and connotations for the reader/listener but together they express the meaning that the poet intended to show. Shell Woodward 2004 Words ...read more.

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