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am going to look at four poem; Hitcher (Simon Armitage); My Last Duchess (Robert Browning); Education For Leisure (Carol Ann Duffy) and The Laboratory ((Ancien Rgime) as all these poems express the theme of power

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Introduction

How do poets convey the theme of power in their poems? I am going to look at four poem; Hitcher (Simon Armitage); My Last Duchess (Robert Browning); Education For Leisure (Carol Ann Duffy) and The Laboratory ((Ancien R�gime) as all these poems express the theme of power using language and interesting literary techniques to express the emotions they are trying to put across. The poem Hitcher is about power relationships. The speaker of this poem sees himself as a victim and powerless as his boss has power over him and he doesn't have the chance to release his personal need for power. In the poem My Last Duchess the Duke feels an opposing sense of powerless due to his ex-duchesses alleged flirtation. The Duke's self importance leads him to feel powerless and makes him feel that his authority is being undermined. Both speakers of the poems react to their feelings of powerlessness by using violence. Both Armitage and Browning use the structure of their poems to express the emotions of power and powerlessness they are trying to convey. In the poem Hitcher the first two stanzas of the poem are very rigid looking. This shows that the speaker is feeling tightly controlled and powerless. Up until this point the speaker had been living his stress - filled and inhibited life. After hurting the hitchhiker the structure of the poem suddenly becomes loose and much less controlled. ...read more.

Middle

"This grew; I gave commands; then all smiles stopped together". "This grew" referring to the friendly nature that lead to the Duke giving "commands" and then "all smiles stopped". This shows that the Duke let the matter that was bothering him build and build until he could bear it no longer and rather than talk to his Duchess, his megalomaniac tendencies took over and he ordered her to be killed. This is Robert Browning's way of presenting the idea that miscommunication can lead to the misuse of power. The poet of Hitcher presents the idea of the not conforming to society and the fight against power. This is done through carefully constructed phrases littered throughout both this poem and the other poems. For example, in the poem Hitcher, the speaker picks up a hitchhiker who was "following the sun from west to east". This shows that the Hitcher, whilst being of lower status than the speaker, is an easy-going, free person that has rejected the society that the speaker is conforming to. This contradiction demonstrates the idea in the quote, as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and the Hitcher is going in the opposite direction, which shows how he is not in compliance with society or traditional ideas and behaviour. The Hitcher seems to be a bit of an outsider and doesn't appear to have any companions. ...read more.

Conclusion

The adjective "stirring" is used at the end of the first stanza suggesting that something is going to happen - it creates a sense of expectancy. In the forth poem, The Laboratory, by Ancien R�gime, the speaker is a women. This differs from the other poems as they all have male speakers. Likewise to the previous poems the speaker feels like she is being ignored. In Hitcher and My Last Duchess the lack of communication leads to the feeling of uselessness and in My Last Duchess it wasn't just this that upset the count but also the fact that the Duchess seemed to treat to everyone the same which lead to the Duke feeling ignored. In the poems Education for Leisure and My Last Duchess is disillusioned to his own importance. In The Laboratory the speaker creates the deception between appearance and reality by disguising a poisonous pill as a "mere lozenge". This is similar to the poem Education for Leisure as the speaker sees himself as a "superstar" and a "genius" which shows the difference between appearance and reality as we know that no one else sees him as a superstar. This links back to the initial question "how do the poets convey the theme of power" as it shows that the feeling of powerlessness can lead to disillusioned behaviour and violence. In conclusion, the poets use different techniques to convey the theme of power such as the use of adjectives, phrasing, literary techniques and structure used in their poems Hitcher, The Laboratory, My Last Duchess and Education for Leisure. Shoshi Weisman 11ER ...read more.

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