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Comparison Plays/Poems

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Throughout the four poems; "To his Coy Mistress" "My Last Duchess" "Porphyria's Lover" and "Havisham." there is a constant attitude towards women and themes such as violence, possession and patriarchal society are present. However these all differ in nature and theme despite the resounding attitude towards women. THCM is written in 17th Century and the poem depicts a man's urges to will a woman into bed with him. The poem has a light tone and humorous aspects throughout. In contrast MLD which is written in 19th Century has a much darker and menacing tone; it is about a controlling Duke and his previous duchess and unravels the dark story behind them. PL is a Victorian poem, the poem is gothic, crude and perverted in parrts with a man's strange insane intentions. However all these poems are linked by the idea of the male possessing and controlling a woman. H on the other hand is a woman's interpretation of a 19th century fictional character and how this character is left with feelings of violent hatred after being let down in marriage by her fiancé who has wed her to gain some of her riches. The theme of the poem is violent and confrontation but does compare and contrast with PL with the gothic nature.

These four dramatic monologues do vary in storyline and tone however he same themes are made apparent in all of them and is what gives these poems a link and comparisons. Desire, death, domination and obsession as well as the balance of control between men and women over the past four hundred years are all explores. In Shakespeare's play "Much Ado about Nothing" we are also resented with these evident themes through two very different kinds of women with diametrically opposed attitudes to love and marriage.

The position of Women has vacillated throughout history and from the 16th Century to the 19th Century in which the stories are set we see a very patriarchal and bias again women themed society manifest. In this time period it was considered mandatory for women to marry, particularly those women who were well-born or of a higher class. Throughout this space of three hundred years the theme of possession permeated women's lives, the entirety of their lives was fuelled by possession and we can see this being made abundantly clear in the monologues and play. Women were objectified and only see as a 'toy' for men, nothing more. The fact that marriage took precedence in their lives was because it influenced a woman's social position and financial security and therefore was a vital aspect for succession. The sanctity of marriage was not relevant and it was a rare occurrence that people married for love. The monologues and lay all reflect this view and theme through their characters and actions.

THCM has no mention of love or marriage throughout and this highlights how women were presented, only seen as objects for the desire of a man. The only emotion that is apparent and present through the poem is lust which is another indication of how men viewed women. The speaker of the poem does not provide us with a lot of information about the woman. However, he provides us with insight into her morals regarding reputation. The speaker proclaims, "that long preserved virginity, / and your quaint honour...," This quotation dictates to us that the woman is a virgin who believes that personal and possibly family honor comes from chastity. Because the speaker addresses her abstinence, it is evident that he has thought about her views of chastity. He understands that if she has sex with him, she will believe her honor could be tainted; and her honor is very important to her. But, he says in the next line, "and into ashes all my lust: / the grave's a fine and private place, / but none, I think, do there embrace," The quotation suggests that he respects her moral views, but he asserts that the morals will turn to dust when she dies: like the rest of her physical body. His rhetorical plan is to show her that he honors her views, while stressing that he thinks a successful relationship needs to have sexual pleasure involved. The text also suggests that he believes that a relationship lasts in the heart forever, while chastity turns to ashes. There is a change of tone in the second stanza can be attributed to the speaker's sense of seriousness. The first stanza is comical, and so is the third. However, in the second paragraph the speaker's tone is rather morbid and scared. The speaker says, "that long preserved virginity, / and your quaint honour turn to dust, / and into ashes all my lust," The quotation suggests that the speaker is worried about their love and what will happen in the future if they do not share sexual pleasure. This is one of many examples of how his main and only focus is to do with sex and lust, he is objectifying the woman and does not once mention love, marriage or relationship only sex and the result of her not having sex with him. We can compare THCM with MLD because in both the two characters in these two poems have a certain attitude towards women, which is that they both see women as objects but in different ways. The Duke in MLD is an arrogant, disrespectful man, who cares more about status and wealth then love. He is a megalomaniac, who is jealous about his ex-wife not giving only him her attention. The speaker in THCM seems like a respectful man, who is articulate, this is important because it is his main strength which he uses to lure her to him. He uses his skill to flatter her, but we then learn that he only wants her for pleasure rather than love; he puts up a false persona of love as another technique to lure her. He is also worried about death and the end of his time. Both these characters are trying to persuade someone. In the Duke's case, it's the envoy and in the speaker's case, the woman. In Conclusion THCM reveals that morality and honor are important aspects of human behaviour, but the morals of a person should not interfere with the advancement of a relationship. The poem also shows that love can be playful and serious at the same time. It suggests that playfulness does not mean that you are not being serious. It asserts that love can come in different ways, not just serious and monotone.

In the Poem MLD by Robert Browning the heartless and haughty speaker explains a painting of his last wife while inadvertently revealing a darker side to his last marriage than one might view from the outside.
The poem depicts a dense stream of conscious feel to it by using language and sentence structure common to conversation earlier to the time period it was written. The use of "'twas not" , and the English spelling of "favour" suggests the poem occurred in a time period in which husbands held power over their wives with such things as "nine-hundred-years-old names" and money.

The poem is told from first point of view by a selfish man admiring his late wife's smiling portrait. As the Duke entertains his guest, "you", he tells of "My favour" after contemplating "how shall I say?" that his wife flirted with all she encountered. The biased first person account of the death of the duchess leads the reader into the centre of the man's thoughts and allows for a more in depth understanding of his desire for control toward his wife even in death. His dramatic monologue gives perhaps more information concerning the specifics of his involvement in wife's death than he realizes. The quotations incorporated within the poem such as "Just this or that in you disgusts me" and "Her mantle laps over my Lady's wrist too much" as well as the direct address "Sir, 'twas all one" to the guest shows the Dukes self-important attitude and his high regards for the thoughts which he believes others are thinking. The Duke boasts that he now holds the power to let others see the smile of the portrait that was meant only for him. He gets so enthralled with his own story of his wife he reveals that his "commands" ended the duchess's smiles and possibly her life. We see the Duke's thirst for power and self-love which the Duke honors himself with by controlling the women and people in his life of which he feels superior. This theme of possession can compare with THCM and PL, in both of these poems it is made clear the male characters desire to possess and control the female.
Browning illustrates the complexity of the controlling Duke by showing his carelessness and arrogance by the words he uses to impress his guest. The "Duchess painted on the wall" has a "countenance" that only can be seen by the "command" of the Duke. When the Duke believes the Duchess finds interest in other people beside her husband, The Duke, "gave a command" which stopped "all" her smiles to everyone. When the Duke could not obtain complete power over and tame his young wife, she died in a manner which is not fully explained. The Duke's craving for possession over the women relates to PL the way that the male did anything possible to stay in total control and possession even if the result is ultimately violent or confrontational, in this example the Duke commits the ultimate sign of violence just to stay in possession and control. The startling "command" line toward the end of the poem lets the reader realize that this man has the power to make a woman be remembered by nothing more than a portrait controlled by the master of the house. In conclusion Browning highlights the patriarchal society in this time period where the man has total control and how women were helpless with a lack of any standing in society.

In the poem "Porphyria's Lover," written by Robert Browning, a crazed lover takes advantage of the loyalty and devotion of his beloved. In this poem, Browning suggest a few themes that reflect society and people. These are unrelentless love, false worship, and power. "Porphyria worshiped me," The woman, struck with love and overwhelming feeling gives all of her to the narrator. While this may seem like a weak suggestion, the following events that lead the narrator to act the way he does supports that he looks at her devotion as a sign of power and turns it against her. This is a classic love tragedy with the one of the lovers ultimately ending the relationship.
"Porphyria worshipp'd me; surprise
Made my heart swell, and still it grew
While I debated what to do.
That moment she was mine, mine, fair,
Perfectly pure and good: I found
A thing to do, and all her hair
In one long yellow string I wound
Three times her little throat around,
And strangled her."
(lines 32-40)

These lines create the moment of violence in this poem. As the poem goes through the encounter between the two lovers, Robert mixes erotic language with violent imagery, as seen in this excerpt. "Love" occurs a total of five times including the title (lines 21, 29, 55, 56) and yet there is a murder scene. Suggesting a close relationship between love and violence, Robert Browning seems to try and potray a sadistic relationship. This quote and analysis relates well with H and MLD, the violent imagery and language in this poem highlights similar themes in H and PL. Men often used violence to control women and violent language is often used to express strong emotion. The love between the individuals is undeniable, but the love of the Porphyria's lover is dualistic. It presents the other side of love that few will acknowledge.

Carol Ann Duffy's poem 'Havisham' is a dramatic monologue written from the eyes of the infamous character Miss Havisham who is extracted from Dickens’s 'Great Expectations'. Miss Havisham is a very disturbing character for a number of different reasons conceived by the pain and hurt she has endured throughout her life after being jilted at the altar many years before the poem is set. Throughout Havisham we learn that there is more underlying problems to Havisham than what was once acknowledged. Hatred completely destroys Havisham and that instead of helping her to get revenge, it makes her worse which results in her hating all men. The first stanza of the poem, we immediately learn about Miss Havisham through her gritty honesty. She is expressing the pain of being jilted at the altar as she reveals her personal feelings of the man she was about to marry.

“Beloved sweetheart bastard.”

Here we see Duffy opening the poem in an oxymoronic way. She uses this technique to entice us in to the poem and to emphasise the contrast of her hectic feelings towards her ex-lover. This is also a very controversial way of opening the poem, possibly throwing us in at the deep end right at the start to establish what type of person Havisham is and to prepare us for the roller-coaster ahead. 'Beloved' being the man she once loved, 'Sweetheart' a word we typically call our loved ones and 'Bastard' an offensive swear word. All highly contrasting words which makes us feel disturbed as we enter the poem. This opening of the poem is very abrupt, it's also climatic, something in which we'd typically see at the end of a poem, building tension but controversially Duffy opens in this way to lead us in to the scheming mind set of Havisham.
In the second stanza of the poem, Miss Havisham's erratic and lonely behaviour is continued.

“Whole days in bed cawing Nooooo at the wall;”

Firstly, the word 'cawing' is very striking. Duffy is comparing Havisham to a crow crying out raucously. This line of the poem also paints a picture of Havisham lying in a bed lonely, perhaps without a man. It also emphasises the cruel reality of her life, emphasising the fact that she will never get over this. 'at the wall' suggests that Havisham is always surrounded by four walls and that she has always been reclusive since her wedding day. The third stanza also opens with enjambment which is a technique used to create tension or to interest/attract the reader, breaking up lines to make the brain respond better to a poem. 'a red balloon bursting in my face' is however the most interesting line of the stanza opening many ideas for imagery. Balloons are typically associated with celebrations and parties, this creates the impression that Havishams celebration was destroyed like the burst balloon. It could also symbolise Havishams heart breaking and continuing to break. These quotes show the bitterness of Miss Havisham after the man has controlled and used her, highlighting how marriage and love wasn't important in this time period and was only used to gain advantages and rewards. Through out the poem, Duffy has re-created the character that Dicken's began. Here, we get a more in-depth feeling to this very vulnerable and troubled woman. We follow her through a journey in which Duffy has created through the use of techniques being repeated.

Although Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare's comical plays, it still contains important themes. One of the most prominent themes in the play is that of star-crossed lovers. At first, Hero and Claudio seem to be the perfect couple. They fell in love at first sight and are both very popular in society. Trouble brews, however, when the villainous Don John plots to slander the innocent Hero. Claudio mistakes another woman engaged in licentious activities to be Hero and is stunned and enraged at Hero's deceit. Thus, much of the play involves people trying to either assert Hero's innocence or break off the marriage. Hero and Claudio are eventually happily reunited and do not meet the tragic death of the similarly lovelorn Romeo and Juliet.
Benedick and Beatrice also fit the theme of star-crossed lovers. Once the audience learns about their war of wits, they seem to be absolute opposites in character. With the help of some matchmaking friends, however, Beatrice and Benedick fall in love, against all odds. As Hero and Claudio's relationship falls apart, Benedick and Beatrice grow closer together. Shakespeare's transformation of two sour bachelors into romantic lovers plays a key part in the story. The play highlights key themes present in society at the time and present in the other poems, especially in Act 4 Scene 1.
The fear of the men that they will be cuckolds is inherent in the scene where Claudio accuses Hero in the church. Leonato falsely thinks he has noted that she is guilty. Claudio further insults him by stating, "Give not this rotten orange to your friend" Hero's fainting is taken as sign of her guilt, leading Leonato to tell Beatrice that, "Death is the fairest cover for her shame" This is part of the social norms, it is Leonato's way of avoiding humiliation. Leonato chooses Hero's death in order to protect his reputation and avoid embarrassment.
Claudio now mimics the first time he thinks he has lost Hero. "But fare thee well, most foul, most fair, farewell" Claudio dotes on Hero in his mind but prefers to choose male bonding over marriage. This becomes even more apparent in the next act when Claudio and Don Pedro mock Benedick together; Claudio shows no remorse for Hero's death and appears positively triumphant in having killed her.
Benedick becomes speechless when Hero is accused. Benedick says, "Sir, sir, be patient. / For my part, I am so attired in wonder / I know not what to say" This marks the first time that he is unable to comment on the proceedings around him. For Benedick, it also moves him away from his male companions and his jocular talking and towards Beatrice, with whom he is more serious and less verbal.
One of the most significant lines is when Beatrice tells Benedick to "Kill Claudio" She asks this as a way for Benedick to prove his love for her. Her demand essentially forces Benedick to choose between the brotherly love of men and the loyalty of a man to his wife. Beatrice knows that she must destroy Benedick's former male bonding. Her order is therefore a command for Benedick to support her against Claudio, and represents the only way for them to have a mature relationship.
A key theme is the patriarchal society women lived in. We can see Beatrice is trapped by her sex, we see this in the quote "O God that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market place" She cannot take revenge on Claudio herself, indicating the power of the men in Messina. Beatrice therefore falls back on her wit to get Benedick to challenge Claudio.
Throughout Scene 4 Act 1, we see all the themes present; violence, patriarchal society, possession, love and marriage and how they are explored and can be compared to the poems.

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...Remembrance Day Poppy The countless blood images such as " It will have blood, they say. Blood will have blood. "(III. iv. 122) appeal to senses of sight, taste, touch and smell. In this play, blood imagery creates a series of sickening pictures that we associate with the usurper, Macbeth. Shakespeare's use of one blood image after the other -- about 26 times in this short play – creates the atmosphere of gory death by invoking our emotional response to it. While the colour of this flower might have some association with the blood shed during battle, it's actually a symbol of those who sacrificed their lives during war in service of our country. Thus, it stands for the concept of sacrifice Literal and Figurative Imagery Let's discuss imagery a little further. Images may be either literal or figurative. Literal imagery creates a mental impression through the use of language that appeals directly to the senses by describing a thing, a person, a feeling or an experience. This poem by Canadian Raymond Souster demonstrates the use of literal imagery: I Wanted To Smash I wanted to smash something, anything against their dull, stupid faces, but then you reached down with a certain smile, put a flower in my hand. Raymond Souster In this poem, Souster uses literal imagery that appeals to our senses. The "something" that might be smashed against the "dull, stupid faces" contrasts with the gentleness that reaches down, "with a certain......

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...METAPHOR POEM I am #1 Directions: Write a short poem of at least 6 lines entitled, “I am #1.” Make it look like a poem but do not rhyme it – remember form is meaning. You will be creating a picture in words of yourself (imagery & metaphor). 1. What color are you? 2. What beverage represents you? 3. How do you act in a crowd? 4. What contrast describes you? 5. What chair represents you? 6. What time of day best describes you? 7. What musical instrument best describes you? EXAMPLE: I am a blue bubbling e f f e r v e s c e n t soda-pop. I stand out in the midst of people sparkling brilliantly. A bear grrrowling in the morning mirror… but a cuddly cub purrrring by evening is me. The stars twinkle and shine for me as I gently rock back and forth, back and forth on the front porch swing. My hearts beats like a drum in my chest – THRUMP, THRUMP, THRUMP, keeping time to my own beat. TWO-TONE POEM What color are you? A crazy question, perhaps. Most of us are at least two-tones. Psychologists tell us that certain colors trigger certain feelings or moods in many people. Some colors are “warm” while others are “cool.” Some colors attract attention; others blend in with their surroundings. Our own interpretation of our feelings about colors, a long with our self knowledge can be a good combination to start a “two-tone” poem. EXAMPLE: My Two Colors Part of me is brilliant yellow Lively and......

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Literary Devices

...A Glossary of Literary Devices Allegory A symbolic narrative in which the surface details imply a secondary meaning. Allegory often takes the form of a story in which the characters represent moral qualities. The most famous example in English is John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, in which the name of the central character, Pilgrim, epitomizes the book's allegorical nature. Kay Boyle's story "Astronomer's Wife" and Christina Rossetti's poem "Up-Hill" both contain allegorical elements. Alliteration The repetition of consonant sounds, especially at the beginning of words. Example: "Fetched fresh, as I suppose, off some sweet wood." Hopkins, "In the Valley of the Elwy." Antagonist A character or force against which another character struggles. Creon is Antigone's antagonist in Sophocles' play Antigone; Teiresias is the antagonist of Oedipus in Sophocles' Oedipus the King. Assonance The repetition of similar vowel sounds in a sentence or a line of poetry or prose, as in "I rose and told him of my woe." Whitman's "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" contains assonantal "I's" in the following lines: "How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick, / Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself." Character An imaginary person that inhabits a literary work. Literary characters may be major or minor, static (unchanging) or dynamic (capable of change). In Shakespeare's Othello, Desdemona is a major character, but one who is static, like the minor character Bianca.......

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