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Compare And Contrast The Themes Of Time, Life And Death In John Keats' 'To Autumn' and Ted Hughes' 'October Salmon'.

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Introduction

Compare And Contrast The Themes Of Time, Life And Death In John Keats' 'To Autumn' and Ted Hughes' 'October Salmon' In Keats' 'To Autumn' he relates the subject (autumn) to love, death and immortality. Time as something is coming to an end, as in 'To Autumn' and time moving towards death and waiting as in 'October Salmon'. It's very common for these two particular authors to write on this theme. Keats writes about the time in autumn as it causes summer to end and winter to arrive, however, he sometimes uses time as the object in a more depressing way. Such a method is displayed in his 'ode on melancholy' where in the first stanza he talks about the movement towards the night, 'shade will come too drowsily' and 'wakeful anguish of the soul'. ...read more.

Middle

Autumn seems to have elongated summer too much and that's not a good thing, 'warm days will never cease' and 'o'er brimmed their clammy cells' are examples of this. But of course the warm days will end just as the salmon will die but after the salmon there will be others, it's the 'machinery of heaven', after autumn it will seem like summer will never come again; 'last oozings'. The imagery given by 'the machinery of heaven' is that of a cog. Turning, turning through the years. How if you go round and round the round about you'll eventually get back to where you began, 'inscribed in his egg'. Keats uses time as a metaphor for life. ...read more.

Conclusion

In contrast Keats looks at nature in a broad view with more description and detail. This could just be conveyed because Keats' poems are written in 1818 and the language is more capable of conveying the description. Hughes' language is snappy and contains more verbs ('lying', 'surge-ride') and sharp concise imagery ('scrubby oak tree') that is helped by the pace of the poem being faster. Keats uses language and description that makes his attitude towards death subtle, 'soft-dying', 'maturing'. Hughes has a more definite way of conveying the point that it will be over when it is over, 'graveyard pool', 'chamber of horrors'. These are both phrases that strongly imply death in it's most obvious form, yet underneath there lies the idea of life after death or possibly even death after death, 'graveyard' and 'horrors'. Sheena Robinson English Coursework 07/05/2007 1 ...read more.

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