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

How do the poets write about childhood death in 'On my First Sonne' and 'Mid-term break'?

Extracts from this document...


How do the poets write about childhood death in 'On my First Sonne' and 'Mid-term break'? The death of a child has a great power to move us. In this essay I will be discussing how the poets write about childhood death in 'On my first Sonne' and 'Mid-term break. It would be a far more common event in the 17th Century, when these poems were written, as childhood illness was often fatal. On my First Sonne is written by Ben Jonson. It is an elegy in which the poet expresses his sorrow for the death of his first son. Jonson contrasts his feelings of sorrow with what he thinks he should feel; happiness that his son is in a better place. ...read more.


The poet sees the boy's death as caused by his, not his son's sin, in loving the child too much, an idea that returns at the end of the poem. He sees the boy's life also in terms of a loan from God, which he has had to repay, after seven years, on "the just day". This metaphor expresses the idea that all people really belong to God and are permitted to spend time in this world. At this point the reader becomes very aware of the poet's religion and faith in God and also his ideas of an after life. Jonson tries to argue that it is only fair that his son is returned at God's bidding and that his arrogant plans for the boy's future were the cause of his present sense of loss. ...read more.


This is another religious image in the poem. It comes from the Bible it reflecting ancient cultures and the way Jesus is shown as sitting at God's right hand. The poem contains several old English words such as "thou" and "Sonne".coee eer seeeeew oree eek inee foee ee: In conclusion the 'On my first Sonne' and 'Mid-term break' explore different aspects of childhood death. In 'Mid-term Break' Heaney uses the many ways of morning to portray the effects and pandemonium caused by the death of a child. Whereas, 'On my first Sonne' is more focused on justifying the death and the consequent pain caused by the death of a child. Both of these methods are very effective in helping the reader feel the trauma that the loss of a child can cause. Heidegger theorised deps's marxism theory. ...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 Seamus Heaney 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 Seamus Heaney essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Seamus Heaney's poems explore the loss of childhood and the cruel awakening into the ...

    4 star(s)

    This symbolises the dullness of adulthood. It is very plain, and tedious. This description reminds us of "a rat-grey fungus" in "Blackberry Picking." It also suggests that adulthood is recurring. Other examples of poetic language can be seen throughout the poem: "The musty dark hoarded an armoury of farmyard implements."

  2. Peer reviewed

    Compare the poems 'Mid-Term Break' by Seamus Heaney and ' 'Out Out- ' ' ...

    4 star(s)

    Parents should die before their children. It is wrong that Heaney's brother has died so young so a regular rhyme scheme would not have been appropriate. A regular rhyme scheme suggests regular events and quite the opposite has occurred in the poem. Like 'Mid-Term Break', ' 'Out Out- ' ' also has no strict rhyme scheme but there is an occasional echo of words.

  1. Seamus Heaney's Portrayal Of Pain an Suffering.

    The reader asks himself the question 'why does his neighbors drive him home?' there could be a number of reasons. The next stanza explains why his parents were not up to retrieving him from school.

  2. Comparing "Mid-term Break" and "The Early Purges".

    away the harshness of the room, in the poem the boy's candle of life has gone out. I think the word candles are used here because whilst in the room with the boy it is as if his candle of life is relighting for one last time to say good-bye.

  1. Choose any two poems you feel have common theme (or themes). Write about them ...

    is delivered from the back end of an ambulance wrapped in bandages. Another interesting technique used by Seamus Heaney in these lines is to cause his readers to feel a certain way. As I've mentioned, the intensity and anticipation of finally receiving some sort of answer to the identity of

  2. C/W Comparing The Poems; On My First Sonne, ...

    Yet even after much reflection it seems neither poet, despite both coming to terms with the death ever really found meaning for it. Furthermore, although, I'm sure everyone who has ever read either of the poems has found them both sad, however it seems to me that Ben Jonson's; 'On

  1. The four poets present death in many but different effective ways. In .MidTerm Break. ...

    In . The man he Killed. by Thomas Hardy, Hardy writes about an infantry soldier who has shot a man who was his enemy but if he had met him anywhere else he would have been friends with him. Hardy uses the poem as running commentary of the soldier.s thoughts

  2. 'My first Sonne' and 'Mid Term Break'

    The poets' use of lexis, structures and themes help make their poems effective. Meaning is important in both poems, it shows us that death can strike at any time and can have a great impact on us.

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