The Affliction of Margaret
Question: Explore the relationship between the mother and the son in ‘The Affliction of Margaret’.
The Affliction of Margaret is a dramatic poem. In the poem a mother is looking for her son. We are told
in the second stanza, that he has been gone for seven years. It also says that she hasn’t received any
news of him, or where he is. The persona in the poem is the mother, whose name is Margaret.
There are lots of poetic devices used through out the poem. One of the many poetic devices used in the
poem is imagery. If you look at lined 43-46 there is imagery about birds being able to easily fly off and
return back. Looking at lines 12-14, there is more imagery. It makes us feel more sorrow towards
Margaret. The imagery is about her thinking of happy memories with her son. Another poetic device is
rhetorical questions. The second line gives the question; ‘Where art thou, worse to me than dead?’ The
question is written in Archaic English, as is most of this poem. In modern English the question means,
where are you? And if you are dead then why wasn’t I informed? Another important poetic device which
helps get a message across is repetition. In the poem Margaret says ‘thou, thou’ in line 55. She says this
to emphasis that she is concerned about him and not others. I’ve found more repetition in the poem
that is in the first and second line. They both start off with ‘Where art thou?’ By starting a poem of like
this it makes us wonder and question where he is, or what is going to happen. It brings a sense of
mystery into the poem. Another rhetorical question in the poem is ‘Nor sorrow may attend they name?’
The seventh stanza has a metaphor in it, which is another poetic device. In the stanza it says ‘Chains tie
us down by land and sea’. This doesn’t exactly happen, however it is like she is chained down, and can’t
find her way without him. Also in the eighth stanza, there is another metaphor that goes ‘Or...