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Explore the ways in which the poets use language to portray themes in two of the poems studied - "Song to the Men of England" and "Caged Bird"

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Q: Explore the ways in which the poets use language to portray themes in two of the poems studied Some of the main themes of "Caged Bird" and "Song to the Men of England" are lack of freedom, poverty, and social injustice. "Caged Bird" is written by Maya Angelou and the poem tells the story of a bird inside a cage, wishing to fly around the green fields. "Song to the Men of England" is written by Percy Bysshe Shelley and tells the story of a man who tells the working-class people in England that they must not let the tyrants abuse them, they need to be free. In this essay I will explore the features the poets use to explore these themes. ...read more.


The cage in which the bird is kept in, represents the cell in which the slave is captive. But there are other metaphors related to these themes in the same poem: "Fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn." This worms could represent freedom, happiness, family, love... anything a slave (in this case a bird) would like to have with him. Both poems have a special use of words that is connected to their main theme. For example, in "Song to the Men of England" the tone changes between stanzas V and VI: "The seed ye sow, another reaps; The wealth ye find, another keeps; The robes ye weave, another wears; The arms ye forge, another bears." In this stanza, the persona of the poem is telling the people to realise they are being constantly abused by the tyrants. ...read more.


The only difference with the refrain in "Song to the Men of England" is that it uses the exact same words in both stanzas, without changing its tone. Speaking about tone and use of words, there is something interesting in the refrain, which is that the last line doesn't rhyme. This gives a sensation to the reader as if something was missing there (the rhyme or, as a another metaphor, the happiness of the slave). Another interesting point of this poem, is that is written in the present tense, this suggests that slavery is still happening nowadays, in the present. Both poems have a similar meaning: slavery, poverty... and both want to make the reader conscious of these problems in life. Even though both poems have been written in the past, they talk about problems which can be still found in our lives. Andreu Llopis Garc�a Year 10 ...read more.

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