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Contrasting and comparing Elegy for himself by Chidock Tichbourne and Epitaph by Sir Walter Ralegh.

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Introduction

English GCSE coursework on contrasting and comparing Elegy for himself by Chidock Tichbourne and Epitaph by Sir Walter Ralegh Both poems explore the emotions and visions that both men had prior to their executions. Tichbournes poem is very pesimistic, for example his last line says, "and now I live, and now my life is done".He feels he has his life ahead of him and feels his life has had no cause,whereas Ralegh is opptomistic, as though he believes he is going on to a better place, like he knows he has lived his life and it is now time for him to go elsewhere. Ralegh says in his last line,"The Lord shall raise me up, I trust" this proving that he felt that God would look after him in his afterlife and that he had total faith in this. Tichbourne relates most of his poetic devices to nature, for example;"My crop of corn is but a field of tares" and "My fruit is fall'n and yet my leaves are green" these both describe the theme that seems to run through the poem that Tichbourne feels he is too young to die and the feeling of emptiness and self pity.On the other hand Ralegh's poem is very simple, short and to the point. ...read more.

Middle

the tares representing the feeling of emptyness as tares are the bit that the cob comes out of meaning that he is comparing his emptyness to that of a tare with no cob.It also has another meaning, the tare is the bit people don't want, they throw it away,he is comparing his death to the throwing away of something people dont want, basically feeling sorry for himself. He uses the paradox,"The day is past, and yet i saw no sun" to show the way he is locked up away from the light of day, unable to enjoy the freedom others have and the freedom he once had. He then repeats "and yet" in the next 5 lines on the second verse which is to show that everything he every did was in vain because he was always going to die like this no matter what he did. He then ends the poem by repeating the verbal irony he has used in the final stanza of the last two verses,"And now I live, and now my lie is done" Thus summing up his life being over and now he is to die. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that ralegh was not too worried about how the poem looked as he knew his point would be put across by the words he has used, his point being that he accepts his death and awaits the kingdom of heaven. Elegy for himself has a mood of non-acceptance, bitter anger and is very ironic as Tichbourne feels his life has led him to nothing.I think the line that shows this feeling of the fact he has hardly lead a life and that he feels he has more to offer the world before his death is this line,"My youth is spent,and yet I am not old". He sums up his feelings well by using the very ironic final line,"And now I live, and now my life is done" at the end of every verse. Ralegh on the other hand accepts his death, Knows his time is done, and he shows that even though he will die an unhappy death, he believes he has achieved what he wanted in life, believes hes had a happy life and doesn't want to end his life on a sour note and so is looking on the bright side of it. This is shown in his final line which is,"The Lord shall raise me up, I trust". ...read more.

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