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the convict

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Introduction

TERRENCE YUEN 1 Compare and contrast the attitude to prison conditions in the 19th century between ''The Convict'' by William Wordsworth and 'The Dungeon' by Samuel Coleridge. In this essay I will compare the two poems' The Convict' by William Wordsworth and 'The Dungeon' by Samuel Coleridge. I will be talking about the background between these two poems and describe the conditions of prisons during the 18th century. Then I will look at their writing styles, their poem's structure and their use of language. With comparing their different writing styles, I will find out the main message conveyed by each writer. In the 18th to the 19th century, there were many countries under control by a ruler and sometimes the law was not adequate for every single citizen. The torpidity and unfairness of the justice system, which had already destroyed many people's lives, were very common during this period. A small crime could mean that people were jailed for a long time, if the judge wanted them to be. The conditions inside prisons during the 18th to the 19th were not as good as today's prisons conditions, which supply medical care and plenty of facilities for prisoners. ...read more.

Middle

Personally, I think that the prison, which the speaker is talking about, would be looking like a castle with a very thick and giant wall surrounding the centre of the building. William Wordsworth had written down what he had felt about the prison. He describes his feelings when he first steps into the prison. In the third stanza, the third and forth lines 'I 3 pause; and at length, through the glimmering grate, that outcast of pity behold.' He given out his feeling when he walks through the gate, William Wordsworth thinks that the prison is pity. Samuel Coleridge also demonstrates his feelings about the prison, but he does not mention the structure of the prison. He only describes the atmosphere inside the prison. Unlike William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge does not use one of these 'victims' inside the prison to support his negative description of the prison. In 'The Convict', we know that the speaker is focusing on just one prisoner's life and the whole poem is just surrounding this prisoner. However we have not been told that what that prisoner had done, which had caused him to be jailed. Although we do not know his crime, we know that he is held captive in what Wordsworth calls a "dungeon" in line 10. ...read more.

Conclusion

But the different levels of using language between these two poems may express the different levels of hatred between these two poets. I think in' The Dungeon', Samuel Taylor has used his personal view to write down what he felt about the prison. On the other hand, in' The Convict', William Wordsworth has a third person been using a third person's view to express and to write down the poor condition of prisoners. Overall, the rhetoric and language, I think the speaker uses in' The Convict' displays more hatred than the speaker uses in' The Dungeon'. The concept of freedom as a primary law in these two poems is evident. 'The Convict' begins with an inspiring description of dusk in which "The glory of evening was spread through the west' in line1. And 'The Dungeon' shows the happiness of freedom 'Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets' in line 23. I think both of these two poems are using a simple and direct language to express their main ideas. And sometimes irony and imagery appears again and again to emphasize the importance of freedom. Overall, I find the 5 individual messages and the simple language in the poems very easy to and this make it easier for me to explore the background and the emotion of these two. ...read more.

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