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Compare and contrast 'Bishop Hatto' by Robert Southey and 'The Lady of Shalott' by Lord Alfred Tennyson. Show how these poets have used poetry to bring their stories to life.

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Introduction

'Bishop Hatto' by Robert Southey and 'The Lady of Shalott' by Lord Alfred Tennyson. Compare and contrast 'Bishop Hatto' by Robert Southey and 'The Lady of Shalott' by Lord Alfred Tennyson. Show how these poets have used poetry to bring their stories to life. 'Bishop Hatto' by Robert Southey and 'The Lady of Shalott' by Lord Alfred Tennyson are two very different pre-twentieth century poems that contain a religious relevance. 'Bishop Hatto' by Robert Southey is a descriptive poem about a heartless Bishop that goes against his role as a Bishop. He believes that by filling his 'great barn' as 'full as it could hold' with 'women and children and young and old' and burning 'them all' in 'an excellent bonfire', he is ridding the world of peasants and making it a better place. However, 'The Lady of Shalott' by Lord Alfred Tennyson is a heartbreaking poem about a lady longing for love. She becomes so depressed that she cuts herself off from the outside world by enclosing herself within a murky 'four gray walls, and four gray towers'. She is fearful of life and believes that a curse will be placed upon her if she leaves the gloomy tower or dares to peek through the window across the river 'flowing down to' the capital of King Arthur's Kingdom, Camelot. ...read more.

Middle

For example 'up and down the people go, gazing where the lilies blow.' A vast amount of metaphorical language is used by Sir Alfred Tennyson to describe the features of Sir Lancelot. 'His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd, on burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode, from underneath his helmet flow'd, his coal black curls as on he rode.' The rhyming couplets and metaphorical language used within 'The Lady of Shalott' make it easy for the reader to create an image of this wonderful and superior man. Sir Alfred Tennyson creates a sense of the Lady of Shalott being mad. This is because he writes that she believes 'some bearded meteor, trailing light' moves over Sir Lancelot and watches down on him. Although both 'Bishop Hatto' by Robert Southey and 'The Lady of Shalott' by Lord Alfred Tennyson end in death, the way in which it cumulates is very different. The death of the Lady of Shalott is unexpected and sudden. As Sir Lancelot 'rode down to Camelot from the bank and from the river he flash'd into the crystal mirror.' The Lady of Shalott saw his refection and acted on impulse. ...read more.

Conclusion

He 'mused a little space' and said 'she has a lovely face.' The ending of this poem is ironic because the Lady of Shalott has pined and longed to be with Sir Lancelot, yet when she finally meets him, she is dead. The poems 'Bishop Hatto' by Robert Southey and 'The Lady of Shalott' by Sir Alfred Tennyson both contain themes of death and a religious relevance. However, the different structures, poetic techniques and language used within the poems create two very different images. Robert Southey, the writer of 'Bishop Hatto' uses dark language from the beginning of the poem to set the 'piteous' scene and write of the Bishops criminal antics. This language creates an image of darkness. Nevertheless the rhyme and rhyming couplets within the poem create black humour. In contrast, Sir Alfred Tennyson, the writer of 'The Lady of Shalott' create an obvious contrast between the language that he uses to describe the people and scenery of the capital of King Arthur's Kingdom and the language that he uses to describe the unhappy Lady of Shalott. All of the people and the scenery within Camelot are described using pleasant and charming language. However, the Lady of Shalott is described with sadness using miserable language. Amie Mustill ...read more.

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