CONFLICT AND POWER POETRY

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ENGLISH LITERATURE PAPER 2

CONFLICT AND POWER POETRY

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CONFLICT AND POWER POETRY

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MY LAST DUCHESS - Robert Browning

'Presents a strong sense of power but also undermines that power' (w/ Ozymandias)

  • FORM :
    • dramatic monologue - we dont hear from the other 'character'
    • suggests the speaker is self-obsessed / dominating
  • STRUCTURE:
    • one long stanza
    • enjambment
    • suggests a lack of control or an outburst of anger
  • LANGUAGE:
    • repettition of "I" and "my"
    • domineering, power/ self obsessed
  • CONTEXT:
    • undermining society at the time
    • critique of Victorian attitudes to women
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OZYMANDIAS - Percy Bysshe Shelley

'Presents a strong sense of power but also undermines that power' (w/ My Last Duchess)

  • FORM:
    • sonnet form - these are usually about love
    • suggests Ozymandias loves himself
  • STRUCTURE:
    • sonnet FORM changes throughout
    • changing rhyme scheme
    • lack of control
  • LANGAUGE:
    • "king of kings"
    • Biblical reference - how Jesus is described
    • thinks he is God- like (powerful)
  • CONTEXT:
    • undermining society at the time
    • critique of monarchies and absolute power
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EXPOSURE - Wilfred Owen

'Presents the reality of war but also presents the futility of war' (w/ War Photographer)

  • FORM:
    • equal stanza length (5 lines), roughly regular line length
    • mirrors how individuals are controlled in war
  • STRUCTURE:
    • eight regular stanzas
    • war is unchanging - not action-packed in reality
  • LANGUAGE:
    • "for love of God seems dying"
    • Biblical / religious references
    • war can change peoles beliefs (shouldn't happen)
  • CONTEXT:
    • Wilfred Owen fought himself
    • angry at the waste of life
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WAR PHOTOGRAPHER - Carol Ann Duffy

'Presents the reality of war but also presents the futility of war' (w/ Exposure)

  • FORM:
    • equal stanza length (6 lines)
    • other people control war and there is nothing that people can do
  • STRUCTURE:
    • four regular stanzas
    • war is repetative / unchanging
    • reality is ongoing
  • LANGUAGE:
    • "all flesh is grass"
    • Biblical reference - human life is temporary
    • war causes this too - negative view to war
  • CONTEXT:
    • anger at people photographing war
    • people who see the pictures can't understand reality fully
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KAMIKAZE - Beatrice Garland

'Man is presented as powerful but then nature is more powerful' (w/ The Prelude)

  • FORM:
    • regular stanza length (6 lines)
    • narrator is in control - contrasts the father's loss of control
    • man lost his power over nature
  • STRUCTURE:
    • begins with the father in control, then realises nature has power and then the effects of his actions
    • power of nature changed him
  • LANGUAGE:
    • "powerful incantations"
    • he thinks he has power, contrasts the later tone
  • CONTEXT:
    • it was seen as an honour to die - so it was shameful that he returned
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THE PRELUDE - William Wordsworth

'Man is presented as powerful but then nature is more powerful' (w/ Kamikaze)

  • FORM:
    • one long stanza (blank verse)
    • first person narrator lost control when nature is more powerful
  • STRUCTURE:
    • begins in control with power, then notices nature's power and then the effects on him
    • reflects the insignificance of man
  • LANGUAGE:
    • "proud of his skill"
    • confident / arrogant
  • CONTEXT:
    • Wordsworth thought identity was shaped by experience
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CHECKING OUT ME HISTORY - John Agard

'Challenging those in power' - he doesn't know his past (w/ London)

  • FORM:
    • varying stanza length
    • breaking the confinement of education in his past - had power over him
  • STRUCTURE:
    • first person viewpoint
    • personal effects of power pn them 
    • reletable - enpathy
    • rhyme scheme forces white and black together
  • LANGUAGE:
    • "dem tell me" repettition
    • angry - people in power give him no choice
    • frustration - segregation in education
  • CONTEXT:
    • African-American author taught white history at school
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LONDON - William Blake

'Challenging those in power' - unsure of th future (w/ Checking Out Me History)

  • FORM:
    • regular stanza length (4 lines)
    • stuck / confined due to the power of authorities
  • STRUCTURE:
    • first person viewpoint
    • cyclical structure
    • the personal impacts of power in everyday life
  • LANGUAGE:
    • "chartered" repettition - meaning everyting is owned
    • power of man vs. power of nature
    • "every black'ning church appals" - "black" = evil and death 
  • CONTEXT:
    • 18th century London - everything was privately owned
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TISSUE - Imtiaz Dharker

'Criticises human power' (w/ London)

  • FORM:
    • regular stanza length (4 lines)
    • humns try to have power over everything
  • STRUCTURE:
    • ends on a single line
    • seperates the power humans have with the fragility / temporary nature of human life
    • free verse, enjambment
  • LANGUAGE:
    • paper used as a metaphor for human power
    • "never meant to last" - human power is fragile, "tissue"
  • CONTEXT:
    • tight human control causes fundamentalism (strict religion)
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LONDON - William Blake

'Criticises human power' (w/ Tissue)

  • FORM:
    • regular stanza length (4 lines)
    • controlled by authorities - no freedom
  • STRUCTURE:
    • cyclical structure
    • cyclical nature of human power
    • never ending - take away power, will always try to dominate
  • LANGUAGE:
    • "charter'd" - everythign was privately owned in London
    • "Thames" - trying to force human power on nature
    • "every black,ning church appalls" - "black" has connotations with evil and death, when the church should be helping
  • CONTEXT:
    • "black" - smoke, industrial revolution, Blake disliked the church
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THE EMIGREE - Carol Rumens

'Presents nature as powerful and humans as not' (w/ Storm on the Island)

  • FORM:
    • first person narrator with regular stanzas
    • nature can have power over individuals' thoughouts and beliefs
    • regular stanzas - human attempt at control (enjambment - can't control everything)
  • STRUCTURE:
    • every stanza ends in sunlight (anaphora)
    • positive views
    • nature can overthrow human conflict
  • LANGUAGE:
    • "time rolls its tanks" - metaphor, even during human conflict nature overrules
    • "tanks" - threats
  • CONTRAST:
    • from 'Thinking of Sins' - political consciousness
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STORM ON THE ISLAND - Seamus Heaney

'Presents nature as powerful and humans as not' (w/ The Emigree)

  • FORM:
    • blank verse and long sentences - nature is uncontrollable and overwhelming
    • enjambment - nature's constant power, even throughout human conflict
  • STRUCTURE:
    • volta - turning point
    • nature can be mroe powerful than you think, it can be threatening
  • LANGUAGE:
    • "spits like a tame cat" - simile
    • threatening
  • CONTEXT:
    • conflict in NI and conflicts
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THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE - Alfred Lord Tenn

'Present the true horror of war and its futility' - war is glorius in CLB (w/ Exposure)

  • FORM:
    • ballad - something to be remembered
    • bravery of soldiers shouldn't be forgotten
  • STRUCTURE:
    • chronological order - telling a story
    • mirrors how war is admirable and everyone should know about it
  • LANGUAGE:
    • "honour", "noble six hundred"
    • the soldiers should be proud to fight
  • CONTEXT:
    • written as a tribute to fallen soldiers
    • should be glorified
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EXPOSURE - Wilfred Owen

'Present the true horror of war and its futility' (w/ Charge of the Light Brigade)

  • FORM:
    • equal stanza length (5 lines)
    • soldiers are controlled in war - it shouldn't happen
  • STRUCTURE:
    • eight stanzas, no real progression
    • war is unchanging - reality is waiting (the worst part)
  • LANGUAGE:
    • "for love of God seems dying"
    • war is not glorius in reality
    • can change people forever
  • CONTEXT:
    • Owen wrote about the reality of war
    • he thought it was a wate of life
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BAYONET CHARGE - Ted Hughes

'Presents the personal impact of conflict and the true horrors of war' (w/ Remains)

  • FORM:
    • enjambment, ceasura, uneven line length
    • chaos of war mirrored, hard to follow
    • struggling soldier
  • STRUCTURE:
    • starts in media res (in the middle of an action)
    • mirrors the soldiers confusion
  • LANGUAGE:
    • "numb as a smashed arm"
    • dont know what was happening
    • injuried = common
  • CONTEXT:
    • Hughes in RAF
    • saw effects of conflict on nature
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REMAINS - Simon Armitage

'Presents the personal impact of conflict and true horrors of war' (w/ Bayonet Charge)

  • FORM:
    • irregular line length and no rhyme scheme
    • recounting the horrors - like a story
    • personal - affects individuals
  • STRUCTURE;
    • starts in media res ((middle of an action)
    • chaos of war
  • LANGUAGE:
    • "his bloody life in my bloody hands"
    • killing affects the soldiers too
  • CONTEXT:
    • based on the experiences of a british soldier
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