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Compare Tennyson's 'Break, break, break' to Wordsworth's 'She dwelt among the untrodden ways'.

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Introduction

Nabeel Abdullah 1/10/02 English Coursework Compare Tennyson's 'Break, break, break' to Wordsworth's 'She dwelt among the untrodden ways'. 'Break, break, break' and 'She dwelt among the untrodden ways' are both poems describing the death of a loved one. While Tennyson used very turbulent, depressing and futile words to show his feelings, Wordsworth used more gentle and calming words comparatively. Both poets however, avoid mentioning the death of their friend or loved one directly because it is such a mournful subject for them. The biggest difference between the two poems is their attitude and emotional feelings towards the death of their loved one. In 'Break, break, break', Tennyson describes his own depressing feelings and insecurity rather then describing the person who died. Instead of remembering the memories he had of the person, Tennyson describes how the death of this person he really loved affected him. He says, "And I would that my tongue could utter," implying that he wants to express his thoughts and memories, but he is too depressed to do so. His emotions have become too powerful to say aloud. The setting for this poem is at the sea, "On thy cold grey stones." ...read more.

Middle

They are happy, cheerful and are having fun. They have companionship and they do not have a reason to be mournful. Tennyson goes on to talk about the ships going "to their haven under the hill." He is implying that they all have security and joyfulness. He is insecure. He has no companion and no goal in life. He is missing the touch of someone else in his life to make him felicitous and cheerful. The death of this one person who did just that has changed his life. Wordsworth is not as troubled as Tennyson. Rather than using futile, powerful and depressing adjectives like Tennyson does, he creates a more gentle mood. The last line he wrote in the poem is the most emotional one, "But she is in her grave, and, oh, the difference to me!" Wordsworth only describes his own feelings at the end compared to Tennyson who describes his emotions throughout the poem. By saying that it made a big difference to him, Wordsworth is implying that he was one of her very few admirers. He may have loved her and was sad to see her go. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although Wordsworth does describe Lucy slightly, it is an extremely vague description. She is not actually there except by name. The reader still will not know what her character and physical appearance is like. Tennyson's 'Break, break, break' and Wordsworth's 'She dwelt among the untodden ways' both describe the death of someone close to them, but they do so in different ways. The loss was so great for Tennyson to bear, that he could not even utter the thoughts in his mind. He could not think of the good times he had with the friend and of the old memories because they would just make things worse. He could not describe the friend because he was so disturbed and distressed. His emotions were too powerful. On the other hand, Wordsworth was saddened, but not to any extreme. The death of the girl had made a difference to his life, but unlike Tennyson, he could still talk about his thoughts and about her. By using very colourful visual images, he got his point across. He used attractive descriptions to describe her, while Tennyson used mournful and dreary words to describe his own mood. Tennyson had lost his spiritual blessing and felt insecure without this friend. He knew that those days would never come back to him. Wordsworth was not as troubled as Tennyson was. ...read more.

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