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Poetry analysis 'Morte D'Arthur'

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Poetry Essay Although 'Morte D'Arthur' spirals through many stages, none is touched upon to the extent at which it exercises pathos. Throughout it draws upon the reader's emotions heavily, and enforces a feeling of overwhelming pity until its last breath. 'The Prisoner of Chillon', although similar in the aspect that it too bears the countenance of a distressing piece of literature, does differ in tone slightly, for it clearly relies more on the absolution of despair to deliver its message. It too contains pathos in liberal amounts but is not governed by it as the other. 'The Prisoner of Chillon' pushes past the levels of sympathy and invokes an unwavering sense of hopelessness that traps the reader in misery as effectively as the stone prison he relates to us traps its prisoners. From a summary of the poems you would think that the gathered opinions should be the reversed for in 'The Prisoner of Chillon' leaves its protagonist with his life while the other ends with the death of a great king and all he represents, yet the method in which both spin their tales make you feel more misery on behalf of the prisoner then for the dying king. ...read more.


After his brother's death the prisoner describes his dwelling as 'the dark vault wherein we lay' and 'like a living grave'. He feels that he will die in this place, either that no one will ever be able to rescue him or, as we see, that with his brothers dead he no longer wants to live. The last tool Tennyson uses is the people whom inflict Arthur's death and pain. Where in 'the prisoner of Chillon' his jailers are the enemy, for Arthur they were once his people. 'I perish by the people which I made'. Both poems contain a sense of solitariness that increases the pathos and despair to each of the poems. The prisoner when losing his two brothers is all alone in the world. Although there are still people in the world who may be on his side he has lost the last two people who mean anything to him and thus feels completely isolated from the world. With this he no longer wanted to live; there was no reason, no person left for him to live. 'Because I could have smiled to see the death that would have set me free' and 'forbade me a selfish death'. ...read more.


'Leap and gush... skimming... blew... flowing... growing'. Again the difference between the two poems is that Tennyson uses his words to show what's actually happening, Byron cuts far harsher by showing what the prisoner is missing and thus plunging his life further and further into absolute desolation. Another device effectively used is repetition. 'I only stirr'd... I only drew, I only lived' and 'the last, the sole, the dearest link'. It makes you feel that his subject is more important, it dwells heavier on your mind and makes the point far clearer then a simple brushing over would. They both use rhyming and rhythm devices to further their own emphasis, either pathos or despair. 'Shrill, chill, with flakes of foam,' from Tennyson, emphasising the weather. The experience of the prison from Byron, 'This was woe, but sure and slow.' Throughout the poems both seem to use similar themes although manipulate them to bring out their own desired goals. In the end it is obvious that whereas Tennyson keeps a shimmer of hope in his poem, Byron completely eradicated that and leaves a feeling of utter loss and despair. There is nothing left once Byron has finished with his writing, yet with Tennyson you can see a future coming through, something new growing out of that which is left. ...read more.

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