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Compare and contrast the poetic of death and 'seizing the day.' 'Death the leveller' by James Shirley and 'to the virgins, make much of time' by Robert Herrick.

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Introduction

'Compare and contrast the poetic of death and 'seizing the day.' 'Death the leveller' by James Shirley and 'to the virgins, make much of time' by Robert Herrick. 'Death the leveller' by James Shirley suggests that death is chasing us all, including peasants, kings and queens but there is joy in life and take advantage of what time you have. I will compare and contrast this poem with another called 'To the virgins, make much of time' and explain what similarities and what differences these poems have. 'Death the leveller' says death is inevitable and the 'to the virgins' says that life is great, 'Carpe diem,' 'seize the day.' The language in these poems are very similar and use very similar verbs, metaphors and adjectives. These is personification in both poems such as 'old-time is still a flying' which suggests that old-time is a person and in the other poem there is 'Death lays his icy hand on kings' which suggests that death is a person and will eventually get us all. ...read more.

Middle

This rhyming couplet emphasises the point that death can be prevented only people who are just and fight death. In contrast the 'to the virgins' poem also has a rhyming couplet 'and while ye may go marry, you may for ever tarry, which emphasises that you must marry or you may regret it. Also in the 'to the virgins' poem Robert Herrick uses a trochaic feet- it has the same pattern throughout the poem. A trochaic foot is where the first syllable is stressed and the second unstressed. A trochaic foot is very effective in a short poem as it stresses the themes in the poem. In the poems, 'death the leveller' and 'to the virgins' there is repetition used in the sense that every other line rhymes in the 'to the virgins' poem, 'gather ye rosebuds while ye may,' and this same flower that smiles to-day,' this emphasises the point of repetition and this carries on in the next three stanzas. ...read more.

Conclusion

In these poems there is sibilance and alliteration used. In 'death the leveller,' the sibilance used is 'poor crooked scythe and spade' and 'ye rosebuds while ye may' in the 'to the virgins' poem. This emphasises the point of what sibilance does to a poem. There is alliteration used in both poems. In the 'death the leveller' poem uses alliteration at the end of each stanza, such as 'scythe and spade, 'captives, creep to death' and 'smell sweet and blossom.' But in the 'to the virgins' poem, there is some alliteration such as 'higher he's a getting' and 'the worst and worst' but the alliteration used in death the leveller, I think is more powerful and strong. In summary of these two poems, I have come to the conclusion that 'death the leveller' uses more powerful verbs and stronger imagery of a battle with death while the 'to the virgins' poem gives an idea of living life to the full while you can and don't wait long or your time mat run out and you may regret it. ...read more.

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