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A Comparison of Four Poems that show violence

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A Comparison of four poems that all show violence: Hitcher by Simon Armitage, Education for Leisure by Carol Ann Duffy, The Laboratory and My Last Duchess by Robert Browning. The above four poems all represent violence in some way or another. In this essay I will compare and contrast the ways violence is shown and what this adds to the poem. Firstly, violence has to have a motivation behind it and all four of these poem's narrators have similar motivations to commit acts of said violence. All their motivations link back to them feeling ignored and jealous of other people and the outside world. In Education for Leisure, this is shown obviously by the line, 'had enough of being ignored'. In My last Duchess and The Laboratory the ignored vibe is passed out through the lines, 'ranked my gift of a nine-hundred year old name with anybody's gift' and 'laugh, laugh at me' respectively. ...read more.


In My last duchess it is possibly the most disturbing as right at the end of the poem it seems the Duke will simply repeat his actions on the next Duchess with the line, ' Neptune, though, taming a sea-horse' which proves in itself he cant be sorry for murdering the first time. In Education for Leisure and Hitcher however (The two post-1914 poems) the speaker seems to be much less aware of what they're doing is wrong. When the Hitcher's narrator says, 'I dropped it into third' it is like his mind is just changing gear; this is similar to Education for leisure with the line 'it is an ordinary day' when it is clearly not as they're about to commit murder. Similar to before, it seems all but one of the speakers is very emotionally detached to the world. Both The Duke from My last Duchess and the speaker from Hitcher seem to be able to turn off their minds, blocking out all emotion; demonstrated in the lines for duchess, ' ...stands as if alive. ...read more.


Once again though, in contrast to that, their views are probably very biased and wouldn't tell you the whole story anyway. In all of the monologues, there is a calmness and politeness about the language, such as the word 'prithee?' in the laboratory, which completely contrasts with the acts the speakers commit. For example in Education for Leisure, short sentences like, 'We did that at school. Shakespeare' give and impression of basic thoughts which make the character and ergo the poem seem calm and innocent. This makes the poems more disturbing than if the speakers knew what they do is evil. A big difference between The Laboratory and Education for Leisure is the use of euphemisms. In Education for leisure, there are all sorts of interpretations for lines such as,' They don't appreciate my autograph'. Does it mean he literally went into town and offered his signature to random people? Or is it a euphemism for him killing them? However, in the laboratory there are almost no euphemisms, just about quotes like 'pure death' meaning quite literally what they say. ...read more.

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