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GCSE: Byron

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  1. How far are current interpretations of Newstead accurate reflections of what it may have been like in 1871?

    Emilia Webb encouraged visitors to view the assortment of artefacts and curios associated with Byron, that she had collected, prompting her daughter to write, "[she] seemed much less mistress in her own house than caretaker for Byron's. It is chiefly owing to Mrs Webb's care on her first arrival at Newstead that every relic connected with Byron has been so religiously preserved. She regarded this as an obligation and a duty to the poet's admirers." The decoration in the house has largely remained unchanged since the Victorian era, and purposefully reflects the style of this period.

    • Word count: 1540
  2. Compare the ways in which Lord Byron's 'So No More We'll Go A-Roving' and John Clare's 'I Am' convey their feelings about getting older/mental illness. Comment on language, rhythm, form and structure, as well as the content of the poem.

    Clare, on the other hand, uses negative words to convey a bitterness towards his situation. Words such as 'forsake', 'woes', and 'scorn' suggest that unlike Byron, Clare is unhappy about his isolation. Clare has chosen to use dramatic words in his poem to maximise the impact of his message and convey his strong emotions. He describes his life's esteems as a 'vast shipwreck'. The use of the word 'shipwreck' conveys at maximum impact that his life was a complete disaster. Comparatively, Byron uses words with a calming quality such as 'pause' and 'rest'. This conveys he is far more content with his life and growing old than Clare, and also as oppose to it being an emotional drama, for Byron it is more a peaceful decent.

    • Word count: 1253

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