• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparing “The Nightingale and the Rose” to “The Half Brothers”

Extracts from this document...


GCSE ENGLISH COURSEWORK- Comparing "The Nightingale and the Rose" to "The Half Brothers" The Nightingale and the Rose, by Oscar Wilde, is written as a fairy tale, not, as most fairy tales are, for children, but for adults. It is a story about romance and love. The nightingale, the main character in the story, overhears a student who is distraught because he is unable to obtain a red rose (the requirement of his love interest if she is to dance with him) and goes about trying to get one for him. It turns out that the only way she can do this is to sacrifice herself and she does. I will compare this story to the other short story by identifying the main themes and characters in the story and comparing them. There seem to be three main themes, they are self sacrifice, love and the nature of romance. However, in my opinion there is another theme, that of art and the sacrifice of the artist. In creating the red rose, her greatest work of art, the nightingale had to sacrifice her own life. This is different to the theme of self sacrifice as the sacrifice of an artist is done in order to produce an end result, a painting or sculpture, something that is going to inspire emotions in others and ultimately gain recognition for themselves. ...read more.


In fact, it is quite unpractical, and, as in this day and age to be practical is everything, I shall go back to Philosophy and study Metaphysics." The tragic end of the nightingale and the subsequent complete lack of emotion on anyone's part are completely different from the ending of the Half Brothers. When Gregory died it made people realise just how much more worth he had than they had previously thought. People at least honoured his memory for the great, selfless and brave deed that he had done. The Nightingale was not afforded that luxury. This is a huge contrast between the two stories. In Gaskell's story love is the supreme factor, quite unlike in Wilde's where the nightingale's gesture is wasted and in the end unsuccessful. The Half Brothers by Elizabeth Gaskell is, by contrast to Wilde's fairy tale, a story filled with an abundance of human tragedy, the only relief from which is the joy of a mother's love for her child. Helen, the mother of Gregory and his stepbrother, is married young. However her husband and first child die and she has to look after the newly born Gregory with just the help of her sister, Fanny. ...read more.


The Nightingale is too na�ve to realise this and sacrifices her own life for nothing in the end. Although the Nightingale's death is very sad for the readers, the characters in the story do not even know of her existence but the treatment of the rose at the end seems to symbolise how little they would have cared that the Nightingale sacrificed her life for the rose. Gregory, however, sacrificed his life for the best possible reason, to save the life of another. As I have said before, the Nightingale sacrificed herself for the love of an intangible ideal; Gregory gave up his life because of the love (to an extent- unrequited love) he had for his stepbrother. It is very unlikely that the stepbrother would have had either the sense or the heart to do the same for Gregory. Also, the Nightingale's death went basically unnoticed, her legacy- the red rose was treated incredibly badly and strewn in the road whereas Gregory's death was the result of probably the most important thing he did during his lifetime, and his legacy- Lassie, was treated very well. This is an important difference in these stories: it shows the change of peoples' opinions towards Gregory and the newfound respect and love they had for him when his sacrifice became known. By contrast, the nightingale's sacrifice was not only unnecessary, it was also completely unrecognised. Chris Bell 10S ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Love Poetry essays

  1. Poetry Explication: “The Tally Stick” By Jarold Ramsey.

    Although the stick the stick has been reduced and eliminated gradually as time came and went, the couple still believes that their experiences have only sustained life rather than weakened it. "Regrets have polished it, hand over hand" (l.

  2. Response To Love Poetry - The Flea & Red, Red Rose

    The repetition of red emphasises the deep colour of the rose and the depth of his love. Although the rose is beautiful and fresh ('newly sprung') it is short lived and insubstantial and dies away quickly. This could be a truer representative of what his love is like.

  1. "The Sun Rising" by John Donne, "On Monsieur's Departure" attributed to Queen Elizabeth I ...

    Te bed is related to sex and passion and how it is the focus of his life and how he doesn't want to leave his girl. It is the centre of his universe. There is less imagery in On Monsieur's Departure, but there is some relating to the character of

  2. A child called it

    It forces a child into isolation, when he or she needs special attention at an early age. It damages a child more than one would expect. Also, at one point in Dave's rough life, he was given some love and attention he had been wanting from his mother.

  1. Cabaret - “The relationships in this film are based on selfish desires” Do you agree?

    Sally displays her utmost love for Brian when she has an abortion, despite Brian's wishes to keep the baby. At first it appears as though Sally is being self-absorbed but as she explains herself, we see that Sally has thought of the consequences of their marriage: "How soon would it be until we started hating each other?!"

  2. A Study of Relationships Based on Six Pre-1914 Short Stories

    Mr Preston loved 'Mother', but his love was unrequited, as 'Mother' only loved Gregory: "She loved Gregory, and she did not love him." "...He wanted her to love him more... to love her child less". This was the source of bitter jealousy for Mr Preston, and caused his cruelty and hatred towards the boy until his death.

  1. Compose and Contrast the two heroes in ‘The Sextons Hero’ by Elizabeth Gaskell and ...

    as she refuses to even speak with him and leaves him in uncommunicativeness. She also gives Gilbert his flowers back, which he gives her to win her heart over with. Because of this rejection it forces Gilbert to turn fully to his faith.

  2. "A stench of kerosene" and "Veronica" :A comparison in the two short stories comparing ...

    In Veronica's case it is Okeke who moves away from the city while she remains in the Village. In 'Stench of Kerosene' however it is Manak asking Guleri to not go to the village where her parents live. As for maturity, Guleri is very childish.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work