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Compare How the Threat of Death Is Presented in the Poems You Have Studied.

  • Date Submitted: 05/21/2010 07:24 AM
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Carol Ann Duffy and Simon Armitage Poetry Essay

Compare how the threat of death is presented in the poems you have studied.
Choose two poems from list A and two from list B
List A List B
Havisham On my First Sonne
Education for Leisure The Laboratory
Hitcher The Man He Killed
November My Last Duchess
      Each of these four poems, Havisham, Hitcher, On my first Sonne and The Laboratory carry the theme of death and the threat of death. Each of them use a variety of strategies to present these themes through their language. Hitcher and The Laboratory having a slightly more dismissive view than the poems Havisham and On my first Sonne.
        The structure of these four poems shows the attitude to death within them. For instance the poem On my first Sonne is arranged in quite regular twelve lines, this is an elegy format or alternatively could be looked on as a sonnet. The layout like a sonnet shows the love Johnson had for his son, however the fact that it is also in the layout of an elegy shows the mourning he is going through. Enjambment only occurs once in this poem, ‘say here doth lye/Ben.’ this may show that although Johnson is trying to control his emotions and be brave about the issue of death, his feelings sometimes carry him away and he is still confused and upset by the death of his son. ‘The Laboratory’ consists of 12 stanzas, this is extremely long compared to On my first sonne, this may show the excitable and easily distracted mind of the persona of ‘The Laboratory’, the enjambment such as ‘I brought/ my own eyes’ also shows her excitable, and slightly crazy nature.   The fact that the stanzas are quite regular, show that the threat of death the persona is presenting is calculated and she knows what she is doing. The poem ‘Havisham’ is in four regular stanzas, this shows that how the persona Havisham has been brewing and has had time to calculate her anger after her jilting. However, the enjambment still shows her instability as a...


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