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By Means Of Comparison, Consider the Interest Shown of Living Creatures in The Fox on the Point of Death, The Twa Corbies and To a Mouse

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Introduction

By Means Of Comparison, Consider the Interest Shown of Living Creatures in Any Three of the Poems Studied "The Twa Corbies" is by an anonymous poet, and will have been spread by word of mouth. This means that it was meant to be easily remembered and sung. This poem uses a lot of regional dialect to convey its message, and to help the peasants to whom it was being recited to understand. The rhymes are in couplets which make it easier to remember and pass on, but the poem is generally in the form of a ballad. The poem is about a "new-slain knight", and is told by a man listening into the conversation of two ravens with anthropomorphic features. A major part of the poem is the dyke where the knight lays, and it plays multiple roles in the poem. For the birds, it is a diner, where they can get their food from, for the lady and her new "mate", it is a hiding place, and for the knight, it is his grave. The word "mate" tells us that although the ravens are talking among each other, they are still birds that take mates and not partners. The birds also plan to use every part of the knight's body, apart from his bones. They say that they will "pike out his bonny blue e'en" and make their nest with his hair. ...read more.

Middle

Both the mouse in "To a Mouse" and the knight in "The Twa Corbies" are hidden until something finds them. In "To a Mouse", the farmer uncovers the mouse whilst he is ploughing his corn fields, and in "The Twa Corbies", the knight is discovered by one of the crows, who subsequently tells the other of the pair. The farmer destroys the mouse's home when he uncovers it and he then realises it will probably die. The poem is set in the winter, where there is no grass to build a new nest and the winter winds will cause it to die. The penultimate stanza also shows a connection between the famer and the mouse as the farmer says that "The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley," (The best schemes of Mice and Men, often go awry). The phrase "Mice an' Men" implies that both mice and men's plans can easily go wrong. In this poem, many plans and schemes are going wrong whilst in "The Twa Corbies", the raven's dining plan, and the knight's lady's plan to kill him, went well. Both "The Twa Corbies" and "To a Mouse" have similar final stanzas which give a lasting impact on the reader. "The Twa Corbies" is about how no one will ever find the dead knight, whilst in "To a Mouse", the last stanza states that even though the mouse's future looks bleak, it is ...read more.

Conclusion

The fox knows he is lucky to have avoided capture all his life and die a natural death, but the fox is also unhappy and thinks that death will end his unhappiness. The poem is a fable, as it involves using animals to give a moral to its readers, usually using anthropomorphism. In this poem, the moral is simply summed up in one line, "And, the good name you lost, redeem". This is basically saying that if someone loses their credibility, they should try to save their trustworthiness, in any way possible. The poem then goes on to give a darker message that "infamy" has made sure that foxes are always seen as cruel and barbaric, like the ravens in "The Twa Corbies". The dying fox says that even if they foxes were to be as kind as sheep, whenever something wrong happened, foxes would always be blamed for the bad deed. After reflecting on what he has just said, the fox decides that nothing can be done to save the creature, and hears a hen. He sends off his sons to go for a meal, and asks that they bring him one back. This is showing that although the fox had a change of mind, he quickly returns to his 'fox mindset' and wants a meal. This is similar to "The Twa Corbies" where although the ravens think about the gruesomeness of the knight's demise, they still want to eat him. ...read more.

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