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Compare and contrast Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath's use of language and imagery in their poems 'Roe Deer', 'Mirror' and 'Blackberrying'.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath's use of language and imagery in their poems 'Roe Deer', 'Mirror' and 'Blackberrying' In this essay my aim is to compare the three poems 'Blackberrying' and 'Mirror' by Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes' 'Roe Deer'. I will mainly be focusing on the poets' use of language and imagery in the poems. In addition to this I will discuss how they transform the ordinary into quite magical objects and surroundings. The first thing that stands out from all the poems is the fact that none of the three use any rhyme scheme, I think that this is because a rhyme scheme would ruin the effect of the poems. A regular rhyme scheme would alter the pace of the poems, as these are very deep and reflective poems. In Ted Hughes' 'Roe Deer' the stanzas are much shorter and are irregular. In 'Roe Deer' Hughes leaves one line on its own, separate from the other stanzas; 'The Deer had come for me'- I think Hughes leaves this line separately because it is a turning point in the poem, he is so absorbed into the vision of the deer that he thinks ...read more.

Middle

lots of snow powder, the man cannot see their legs- giving the impression that they are gliding through the air, even flying through the air. This creates a magical illusion. Another illusion described in the poem is the way in which the deer's footprints are covered up by the falling snow, 'The snow took them and soon their nearby hoof prints as well'. The snow covers up their footprints, making it seem as if they were never there and just a figment of his imagination. In 'Roe Deer' Hughes refers to 'the dawn dirty light'. The use of similes is quite varied, for instance in 'Roe Deer' the use of similes and metaphors is relatively sparse; 'Seeming to eddy and glide and fly away up'- it is as if the deer get whipped up into the swirling snow. I think the sparse use of similes and metaphors is because Hughes realises that the deer already have such and overpowering magical presence that there is no use in comparing the deer to anything else, but only describing them as they are. ...read more.

Conclusion

The mirror is quite an arrogant character; 'I am important to her'- this raises the issue that society judges women on the basis of being youthful and attractive, the mirror's arrogance is quite ironic because although the mirror believes itself to be important to the woman, it is in fact the other way around. It is the woman that is important to the mirror, because without her the mirror has no other function or purpose. I think that mirror tells the sad tale of aging, and as the woman sees herself physically deteriorate more and more each day, she becomes emotionally more and more depressed. In 'Roe Deer' the mood of the poem has a more enchanting mood and atmosphere because of the dreamy snow covered landscape. When I read the poem it opened me up to my own experiences of loneliness and isolation, but in 'Mirror' I didn't or couldn't fully relate to it, as it told the story of an aging woman trying to struggle with the reality that she faced, and I am a teenage boy. In 'Roe Deer', the man begins to become enchanted with the natural world of the deer; In 'Mirror' begins to open up to the reality of the passing of time. 1 ...read more.

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