Context, Form and Structure, and Link Back

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London - William Blake

CONTEXT:

  • During the Industrial Revolution where the poor revolted against the rich (Blake supported this movement.
  • He's a romantic poet (tree-hugging, hippie...) so, he believed in the power of nature, freedom of thought, the innocence of children and no dominant control/ thought

LINK-BACK:

  • The power is in ths hand of the few (church, gov. and private businesses),normal people have no power and are suffering for it

FORM AND STRUCTURE:

  • 4 regular stanzas and regular rhyme scheme (almost deceptively simple)

KEY QUOTES:

  • "marks of weakness, marks of woe", "mind-forged manacles", "chimney-sweeper's cry", "every black'ning church appals", "hapless soldiers sigh", "runs in blood down palace walls", "the youthful harlot's curse", "new-born infants tear", "plagues the marriage hearse"
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Ozymandias - Percy Bysshe Shelley

CONTEXT:

  • Based on King George III (who he disliked as he was involved in war around the world (Shelley was a pacificst)) OR Rameses II who was similarly involved in war and conflict
  • Romantic poet and also an athiest (was expelled for writing about atheism)

FORM AND STRUCTURE:

  • Sonnet with truth at the end and is a comtemplation. Also,this sonnet combines 3 types of sonnet (Petrarch, Shakesperian and a new type) = shows that power allways fades and guves way to new things
  • Iambic pentameter, mimicks natural speech
  • Begins by detatching Shelley from story (becuase he's trying to hide his attack on religion and the monarchy)
  • Alliteration of "boundless and bare" emphasises emptiness
  • Use of negative words (sunk, wrinkled, sneer, frown, shattered) shows that this is defineitely an attack, not praise
  • Alliteration in "cold command" shows Ozy's harsh nature

LINK BACK:

  • Conveys the everlasting power of nauture and the futility of man's power
  • Also that those with power are deluded in thinking that their power is superior and everlasting

KEY QUOTES:

  • "two vast and trunkless", "a shattered visage lies", "whose frown and wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command", "the hand that mockd them and the heart that fed","king of kings", "look on my works, ye Mighty, and dispair!", "nothing beside remains", "round th edacay of that colossal wreck", "boundless and bare", "the lone and level sands stretch far away"
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Extract from, 'The Prelude' - William Wordsworth

CONTEXT:

  • Romantic poet (nature's power, sublime)

FORM AND STRUCTURE:

  • Long narravtive and personal account (autobiographical)
  • 1 stanza

LINK BACK:

  • Power of nature and man's insignificance

KEY QUOTES:

  • "a huge peak, black and huge", "the grim shape towered up between me and the stars", "with purpose of it's own andmeasured motion like a living thing", "strode after me", "o'er my thoughts there hung a darkness", "no pleasant images of trees, of se or sky, no colours of green fields", "huge and might forms, that do not live like living men"
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My Last Duchess - Robert Browning

CONTEXT:

  • Victorian
  • Based on a real person, many at the time thought that this was weird

FORM AND STRUCTURE:

  • Dramatic monologue, shows the arrogance and vanity of the Duke
  • Written in rhyming couplets that are disguised by lots of enjambment

LINK BACK:

  • Shows that power and vanity go hand-in-hand
  • He thinks that just because he has power in politics and stuff, that he's entitled to have complete power over everything else

KEY QUOTES:

  • "That's my last Duchess", "Looking as if she were alive", "Frà Pandolf", "Paint must never hope to reproduce the faint half-flush that dies along her throat", "such stuff was courtesy, she thought", "she likes what'er she looked on", "she ranked my gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name with anybody's gift", "and I choose/Never to stoop", "I gave commands; then all smiles stopped together","Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!"
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The Charge of the Light Brigade - Alfred Lord Tenn

CONTEXT:

  • Based on 'The Battle of the Balaclava' (1854) in the Crimean War

FORM AND STRUCTURE:

  • Dactyls mimick galloping horses (shows patriotism)
  • 6 stanzas
  • Regular rhyme scheme
  • Chronological narrative

LINK BACK:

  • Honours and glorifies the soldiers unquestioning bravery (not idiocy of commanders)

KEY QUOTES:

  • "Into the valley of Death", "Someone had blunder'd", "Theirs not to make reply,/ Theirs not to reason why,/ Theirs but to do and die", "Into the valley of Death", "Bodly they rode and well", "Into the jaws of Death", "into the mouth of Hell", "Flash'd their sabres bare", "Right thro' the line they broke", "Shatter'd and sunder'd", "They rode back, but noth the six hundred", "while horse and hero fell","When can their glory fade?", "Hnour the charge they made", "Honour the LIght Brigade", "noble six hundred"
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Exposure - Wilfred Owen

CONTEXT:

  • Was a soldier in WWI so is writing from experience, he also gained both psychologocal and physical injuries from his time in action

FORM AND STRUCTURE:

  • Regular poetic form of eight stanzas
  • First four lones of each stanzafollow the regular rhyme scheme: abba (with half rhymes) - this shows the ever-changing nature of war, and the half rhymes help unsettle the reade and defy expected outcome (emphasises pointlessness)
  • The last line of each stanza is shorter signifying it's importance
  • Repetition of 'But nothing happens' emphasises the pointlesness of what's going on

LINK BACK:

  • Shows how pointeless conflict is
  • Shows that nature has enough power to be the enemy (maybe more that trench warfare)
  • War has psychological affects

KEY QUOTES:

  • "Our brains ache", "the iced east winds that knive us", "confuse our memories of the salient","Worried by silence, sentries whisper", "But nothing happens","we hear mad gusts tugging on the wire like twitching agonies of men among it's brambles","Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war", "The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow", "war lasts, rains soaks and clouds sag stormy", "Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army", "shivering ranks of grey", "suden successive flights of bullets streak the silence", "flowing flakes that flock", "the wind's nonchalance", "pale flakes with fingernig stealth", "we cring in holes, back on forgotten dreams", "Is it that we are dying?", "Slowly our ghosts drag home", "crusted dark-red jewels", "For love of God seems dying", "half-known faces", "All their eyes are ice"
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Storm on the Island - Seamus Heaney

CONTEXT:

  • Grew up during the Troubles (Ireland) - the whole play could be an extended metaphor
  • Stormont is hidden in the title and is a parliament building in Ireland

FORM AND STRUCTURE:

  • Written in blank verse (mimicks natural speech) so it feels genuine and as if Heaney is talking to us

LINK BACK:

  • demonstrates the power of nature
  • and shows the vast affects of conflict (such as the Troubles)

KEY QUOTES:

  • "this wizened earh has never troubled us", "no stacks or stooks that can be lost", "nor are there trees which might prove company when it blows full blast", "raise a tragic chorus in a gale", "you can listen to the thing that you fear forgetting that it pummels your house too", "there are no trees, no natural shelter", "you might think that the sea is company", "exploding comfortably", "the flung spray hits th every windows, spits like a tame cat turned savage", "we just sit tight while wind dives and strafes invisibly", "space is a salvo", "we are bombarded by the empty air", "Strange,it is a huge nothing that we fear"
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Bayonet Charge - Ted Hughes

CONTEXT:

  • Inspired by his father who fought in WWI

FORM AND SRUCTURE:

  • 3 stanzas in chronological order (it's a narrative)
  • Narrative gives insight into what really happens during war and what the soldier feels
  • 1st stanza = Soldier is presented as thrown into the action, and struggling
  • 2nd stanza = Soldier begins to question the reasoning for why he's there - questions fate and politics
  • 3rd stanza = Soldier realises that lack of importance of  patriotism as he is thrown back onto the action

LINK BACK:

  • Shows the the confusion felt in the heat of the battle

KEY QUOTES:

  • "Suddenly he awoke", "stumbling across a field of clods", "the patriotic tear that had brimmed in his eye", "sweating like molten iron from the centre of his chest", "in what cold clockwork of the stars and the nations was he the hand pointing that second?", "listening between his footfalls for the reason of his still running", "statuary in mid-stride", "king, honour, human dignity, etcetera, all dropped like luzuries in a yelling alarm", "blue crackling air", "his terror's touchy dynamite"
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