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AS and A Level: Other Poets

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  1. The country pleasures which John Donne mentioned in The Good Morrow is an example of the physical pleasures which the poet seeks to satisfy in physical activities.

    The "desire" starts in a dream to have a "beauty" and that desire is fulfilled majestically. The use of metaphysical conceits dominate the last two stanzas. The lovers see worlds of their own reflected in the pupils of each other. Here we can see that the desire is not sensual pleasure, rather it is the new horizon which love opens to the poet which are of significance. Hence, the desire is more of a spiritual nature. The emphasis throughout the second and third stanzas is on the soul rather than on the physical. It is the desire of a soul in quest of divine joy.

    • Word count: 1475
  2. In Miltons Paradise Lost, God is portrayed as having limited influence and contact with our world. This is perhaps a result of his respect for free will/conscience.

    He seems to sit up on his heavenly throne and observes rather than interact with his creations. A good case of this is in Book three lines 80-90, when God watches Satan ascending from h**l. It would seem that when he was alerted by Uriel, the archangel would have been a good time to intervene and smite down Satan. It almost seems like Milton's God wants the events of Paradise Lost to transpire because he yields so many times at so many opportunities to stop Satan. Satan should have been stopped at the very beginning. God must have foreseen this incident (the partaking of the forbidden fruit,)

    • Word count: 1078
  3. Many of the more famous Blake poems present us with a inner message, displaying his political, social or religious thoughts. Poems such as The Chimney Sweeper may also be interpreted as providing moral lessons,

    In this poem uses the metaphor of a growing fruit to symbolise the growing anger for a foe. The lesson that is presented here is one against Christian Forbearance, the action of suppressing feelings rather than acting upon them. This is due to the fact that at the end of the poem it is detailed "my foe [was] outstretched beneath the tree." The use of of the fruit metaphor of the "wrath" is an interesting one. Blake uses a mixture of human actions with the atypical actions of growth, such as "I watered it in fears/Night and morning with my tears."

    • Word count: 1313
  4. Referring to either The Flea and/or The Broken Heart do you think that it is fair to say that Donnes choice of metaphor is nothing other than a desire to startle.

    Donne also wants this privilege without having to 'wooe'. He uses exaggerated phrases such as 'alas', in order to show his despair and imperatives such as 'stay'. These appear absurd and comedic as he is talks about a small and insignificant flea. This is startling to the reader as Donne appears jealous of the flea yet also shows true emotions towards the flea and what it represents. Donne relates his metaphors to his audience's beliefs at the time he was writing "The Flea".

    • Word count: 1927
  5. How far do you agree with Dr Johnson that Miltons work lacks human interest?

    By involving politics and marriage into his works, this is surely of human interest, as people will be curious and inquisitive about how things worked back then, and it is therefore of human interest if people want to learn about it. Milton states the purpose of his epic poem, and it is obvious that he intended Paradise Lost to educate people about God. If anything, Paradise Lost holds universal human interest. The event in the poem concern the whole of the human race, as the single event of disobeying God and plucking a single apple has moulded the destiny of the world, and it should surely be of interest to anyone who is born into this world.

    • Word count: 1027
  6. How effective do you find Donne`s use of imagery and language in conveying the strength of his feeling and to what extent could A Nocturnal Upon St Lucy`s Day, Being The Shortest Day be considered a love poem?

    In the second stanza Donne shows how loving Anne has changed him, 'For I am every dead thing, in whom love wrought new alchemy.' His use of the word alchemy shows the magnitude of Donne`s feeling as it suggests he perceives love as a change of being, and as such before he loved Anne he was a 'dead thing' ; it was only after he fell in love that he began to exist and live. This concept is developed further at the end of the stanza, 'and I am re-begot of absence, darkness, death; things which are not,' in which Donne portrays himself as being reborn as a representation of nothingness, the state he was in before he met Anne.

    • Word count: 966
  7. To what extent is Paradise Lost a gothic text?

    On the other hand, the text could be interpreted as being a gothic text and in fact, whilst Milton states he is justifying the ways of god to men, could be said to be concerned with justifying the ways of men, and to a degree Satan. If this is the case, then the poem becomes could be called gothic as becomes interested in characters who have been outcast, and their emotions and motivations. This meets two definitions of the gothic which are "the gothic is concerned with the breaking down of social moral codes" and that is the supernatural combined with the ordinary.

    • Word count: 1128
  8. In the poem, 'To His Mistress Going to Bed,' John Donne, in the form of first person dialogue, uses various themes and extended metaphors to illustrate the seductive, witty events occurring

    Firstly the exclamation to the woman creates more demand for attention which compels the reader to continue. For the lines, they not only suggest that the woman is a prostitute with authoritative and colloquial language but it introduces the speaker's impatient s****l desires, comparing his impatience to a woman in labour. The idea of s****l impatience is developed further in the militaristic imagery introduced in the following lines: "The foe... is tired with standing, though he never fight." This of course is an erotic reference to the s****l organs that is 'tired' of standing though it is not fighting or rather being 'used,' in its s****l sense.

    • Word count: 1355
  9. For a modern reader, Paradise Lost is alienating, coming as it does from a different era politically & psychologically. how far do you agree?

    Sing heavenly Muse..."). As written here, the modern reader would have little trouble understanding that Milton is invoking a muse to tell the reader about Original Sin. However, besides the fact that the relevance and effectiveness of this classical tool may well be lost on the reader, the relatively long passage of in between these structurally integral phrases mean that it becomes harder to figure out what is being said. It is impossible for the modern reader to skim-read or casually leaf through Milton's epic; it must be read with concentration and focus in order to understand what is being said consistently.

    • Word count: 1211
  10. Paradise Lost. The epic features of the writing get in the way of Milton's story. Discuss.

    The way this is usually done is through extensive lists and catalogs. Another, much more creative and engaging, way of doing it is through the use of epic similes. For instance, Milton compares the surface of h**l to a volcanic landscape, with "liquid fire" and "dusky Air". The comparison is certainly appropriate as it allows us to form a picture of an abstract concept, such as h**l, starting from a concrete landscape of which we have knowledge. Milton stretches the simile by giving a detailed scientific explanation for the eruption of a vulcano which, at the time, was considered to be caused by a preceding earthquake ("subterranean wind").

    • Word count: 1200
  11. Venus and Adonis

    One interpretation could be that he deliberately means to perhaps use it to signify a blushing innocent. I think it is vital to realise that Shakespeare did model his poem on earlier adaptations of Ovid's Metamorphoses for instance Thomas Lodge's Scillaes Metamorphosis which was the first Elizabethan erotic minor epics based on Ovid. Adonis appears to be an unconventional male, not strong and aggressive, rather he is sweet and delicate. He constitutes the characteristics of a woman in love by being effeminate, he is "more lovely than a man".

    • Word count: 513
  12. The introduction of The r**e of the Lock identifies the poem as a heroi-comical poem- i.e. mock heroic. This style of poem is a type of satire; and in this case, Pope satirises the beau-monde of eighteenth century England

    In lines one and two, Pope suggests that society is taking a fairly trivial incident too seriously, displaying an exaggerated sense of their own importance. The 'contests' Pope alludes to prove to be 'mighty' only in an ironic sense. They are card-games and frilvous tussles as opppsed to the great battles of epic tradition. Unlike the Helen of Troy, 'the face that launched a thousand ships', Belinda prompts foppish nonsense.

    • Word count: 535
  13. To what extent does religious poetry appeal to readers who hold religious beliefs?

    In the poem, Blake mentions that the church has been turned into an institution that promotes child enslavement and cruelty by allowing the culture of selling children to chimney masters to take place. "My father sold me, I was very young" is the quotation from the poem and by analysis suggests that parents were making money by selling their young children, young enough to barely to say a word. It also suggests that children had no power to say no to being sold at their young ages.

    • Word count: 1404
  14. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock opens Selected Poems. Remind yourself of the passage from the beginning of the poem as far as and should I then presume/and how should I begin? How effective do you find this passage as an

    The name 'Prufrock' in itself is rather comical. It can be related to a touchstone (proof rock). This was normally used to assess the purity of precious metals. Therefore it can be assumed that Eliot is implying that the character of Prufrock is always assessing others, who perhaps he sees as better than himself, or of more value. This lack of self-confidence again emphasises weakness and desperation. The 'restless nights' spent in 'one night hotels' suggest an element of impermanence. This brings forth the idea that Prufrock lacks a stable foundation upon which to build his life.

    • Word count: 1139
  15. Commentary on Easter Wings by George Herbert

    18 Feel: "feel this day" in 1633. The two added words disturb the clear metrical scheme (which has six syllables in lines 3, 8, and 13) and are not found in the manuscript of the poem. 19 'Imp' is a technical term taken from falconry, meaning to graft feathers on to a damaged wing to restore a bird's power of flight. Herbert is asking to become one with Christ's rising from the dead into new life and to soar towards heaven with him.

    • Word count: 974
  16. John Donne - Batter my Heart

    Trying to convince himself as much as god. The theme of desperation grows from anger to a apologetic tone. The poem is written in a colloquial fashion and true to Donnes metaphysical side, seen in his other poems. The poem is written in first person, and this is used to create a heart felt and disturbing account of Donne's thoughts. The poem is in the form of Shakespearian sonnet, this is ironic, due to sonnets being used primarily to express love. Donne uses this to shock and further the extremity of the piece. The form of the poem splits between being imperative and apologetic.

    • Word count: 718
  17. "when we have finished reading the poem, it is the images of the albatross and the water creatures that remain with us and not the moral message of the work" in response to this comment write about Coleridge(TM)s use of natural imagery in the po

    In the moon lit sea he watches the water snakes and blesses them unaware, resulting in the albatross falling from his neck like lead into the sea. When he shot the albatross it showed a lack of care for nature and it stayed with him as a constant reminder, when he blesses the water creatures and appreciates nature and their vivid colours the albatross falls of his neck and the spell is broken. The fact that he blesses them unaware shows that it's genuine.

    • Word count: 1044
  18. Epic convention - r**e of the Lock

    In Greek mythology - which is the cornerstone of many epic myths and tales - the muse were mythical and magical beings who inspired. Therefore, Pope's calling upon a muse seems to give the poem an almost holy theme, which when compared with the realistic events (arguments due to a lock of hair) it is clearly a parody and nothing more. Also, Pope's supernatural beings extends to Sylphs, who Ariel - Belinda's guardian Sylph - eventually reveal to being the outcome of "coquettes" (frivolous, flirtatious women).

    • Word count: 695
  19. How does Pope present 18th century society in Canto I-III?

    Moreover, the laziness of the high class society is conveyed through Belinda's waking at midday. Their vanity is conveyed through the description of "toilet" as if she "puts on all its arms". Pope's description of the "toilet" as if Belinda is off to battle satirises high class society because we realise all she is doing is putting on make-up, yet Pope describes it as something honourable, brave and sacred - as . But even this Belinda does not do, for we are told at the end of Canto I that it is the Sylphs who actually carry out the "labours" (although we realise it was actually Betty).

    • Word count: 996
  20. Which Narrative Techniques Does Coleridge Use To Make The Poem Vivid And Compelling?

    As a result of the alliteration and similes, the poem becomes memorable. Coleridge uses effective pacing to suggest the slow passing of time. "For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky", This alerts the reader to the extreme torture the mariner has endured. Assonance emphasises the living nightmare, in which the mariner must bear. "about, in reel and rout" Symbolism within the poem develops the plot; this makes the poem transfixing to the reader. The supernatural essence within the poem compliments the vivid language to make the poem compelling.

    • Word count: 1273
  21. From reading of Paradise Lost(TM) book IX how has Milton portrayed the relationship between Adam and Eve?

    This belief would be understandable at this time period because most 16th century poets believed women to be the inferior s*x, such as Shakespeare's Katherina in 'The taming of the Shrew'. However, Milton's use of language here could simply portray the amount of care and love Adam holds for Eve. This love and care that Adam expresses for Eve is portrayed throughout the poem by Milton. Although Adam disagrees with Eve in her decision to work alone, he does continue to offer his support and love: "Daughter of God and man, immortal Eve, For such thou art, from sin and

    • Word count: 907
  22. Discuss Blake's treatment in the Songs of the forces that hinder human potential

    The commercialisation that was driving the 'development' comes in for biting criticism in London, with reference to "each charter'd street", referring to the commercial practice of chartering the streets. Here, his treatment of the force hindering human potential is an exact description, raising the reader's awareness to the practice. The criticism is taken a step further when referring to "the charter'd Thames", whereby the natural imagery of a river as both a thing of beauty and a source of life is polluted by the industrialisation of the city.

    • Word count: 1481
  23. Types of Love in Donne's Poetry

    whose love is not affected by the constraints of time: 'Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime, Nor houres, days, months, with are the rags of time' The listing in this rhyming couplet helps to convey the eternality of their love and the pauses after each item creates a staccato effect, and this heavy stressing emphasises each item, again conveying an image of a great length of time. The image of time as a 'rag' is used by Donne to mock the inexorability of time - any material object will soon become ragged and decayed.

    • Word count: 1745
  24. the convict- coleridge

    The fact that the poem is called the "the convict" allows the reader to fully understand that although we do not know the crime of the man we are aware his is a captive. Wordsworth th is attempting to present his views towards prison reform and treatment as the man appears to be held captive by the "dungeon" he is confined too. It can be argued the use of the term 'dungeon' reflects conditions of prisons during the late eighteenth century.

    • Word count: 1336
  25. What impression do you receive from the Songs of Blake's own religious beliefs?

    It is this feast that the children, usually from Charity Schools, seem to be celebrating. The children are described by Blake as 'walking two and two in red and blue and green', despite the vivid colour imagery used here the opening stanza still seems to be a criticism of the church. The description of the officers employed to maintain order in the church, 'Grey headed beadles' is much more morbid and contrasts well with the brighter colours used with reference to the children. This may be Blake's way of showing his contempt for the Church.

    • Word count: 1420

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Discuss Blake's treatment in the Songs of the forces that hinder human potential

    "In conclusion, Blake presents a scathing indictment of the forces which he saw all around him in his home in London that were working to limit human potential. Blake explores several of these forces in a variety of different manners, from stark presentation to subtle, haunting imagery. At every turn, Blake forces the reader to acknowledge exactly what is going on around them with such indignant questions as those asked in The Chimney Sweeper of experience. However, although it is in this way that Blake explores the forces of evil around him, the Songs are also a source of great joy. His perception, incite and resultant cutting critique of the society around him is placed with a simpler, more pastoral ideal that many believe to be truly, glimpses of heaven. Hazz Scurfield 13/08/2008"

  • To what extent does religious poetry appeal to readers who hold religious beliefs?

    "In conclusion, poetry has a wide audience and therefore should not be limited to one view or readers. As shown from Blake's poems and Robert frost, poetry has many hidden meanings which can appeal to people who not only hold religious beliefs but who also hold a general interest in it."

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