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I have decided to use the following poems in my essay - The Poison Tree - William Blake · La Belle Dame Sans Merci - John Keats ( La Belle )

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Poem Comparisons Essay - GCSE Coursework Mark Jenkins 10 JC/ Set 1 We were given the choice to write an essay on any two of the following poems, * The Poison Tree - William Blake * My Last Duchess - Robert Browning * La Belle Dame Sans Merci - John Keats * To His Coy Mistress - Andrew Marvell * Mariana - Lord Tennyson Alfred. All the poems were very interesting and thought provoking, and I have decided to use the following poems in my essay. These poems are * The Poison Tree - William Blake * La Belle Dame Sans Merci - John Keats ( La Belle ) I have chosen these two poems because I feel that they give a similar feeling of Infatuation, Obsession, Love and Anger. I will look at these emotions in the two poems, and relate them to events in real life. I will now write a brief overview of each poem. The Poison Tree is very simply set out, with only 4 stanzas, containing 4 lines in each (simple couplets). This poem shows the events that could happen when anger is kept bottled up, and the short nature of the poem emphasises the emotionally charged events, almost as if we were there experiencing them. ...read more.


The fruit given by the tree usually means a new start, but here it does not. Here it means the end of a problem, rather than a new beginning. When Keats writes that the foe ' steals ' into the garden under a ' veil`d pole ' its gives a very careful sense of concealment, like the foe does not want to be discovered on his enemies grounds. The poem structure itself is also quite deceiving, like the speaker of the poem. It seems to be ssimply set out, but if you delve deeper into the poem, you discover that it is multi layered, and quite complex like a rubik cube, and nearly the same with twists and turns. In La Belle Dame Sans Merci however, the obsession lies with the knight for the mysterious lady. He may be under some sort of enchantment though, as he did mention that she had an unearthly beauty and looked like a faery`s child which may explain her choice of food ' relish sweet and manna dew'. At the end of each poem, there is a resemblence to being poisoned. In The Poison Tree, the foe has been poisoned by the fruit bourne out of the speakers anger, but in La Belle Dame Sans Merci, the knight may have been unintentionally poisoned by the strange food, and that could be why the ghostly figures are around him. ...read more.


This lady does not seem to fit the standard stereotypical ' damsel in distress ', simply because although beautiful, she has a very clear and definate aura of mystery about her. The structure of The Poison Tree almost mirrors / reflects the dark and sadistic mood of the poem, because the short simple verses and rhyme make a sense of secrecy and possibly guilt about what is going to happen, almost as if the speaker is talking in short, gasping breaths. The enjambement on the first line of the last stanza gives a sense of urgency, like the foe is uneasy being on the speakers grounds. Also, because this last stanza happens at night, it gives an image of this man going into the garden to get away from the throes of life, maybe to escape his problems by seeking refuge in unknown territory. Personally, i think that both Keats and Blake have done an extremely good job of writing these poems, as the language conjures fantastic images, and each poem offers an insight into the minds of these great writers. I prefer The Poison Tree poem, simply because I understand it more. I have felt at times in my life, that I would like nothing more than to watch someone suffer at my hand, but I have always resisted the temptation. ...read more.

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