Both Swift’s “A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed” (now referred to as “BYNGB”) and Keats’s “To A Lady Seen For a Few Moments At Vauxhall” (now referred to as “TLSFFMV”)describe the women in their poems as having the upmost beauty. Swift uses contradictory language as well as end rhymes to convey a less serious poem about unconventional beauty, but Keats uses imagery, metaphors and an alternating rhyme scheme in order to display his poem as being a more serious and romantic piece about the heartaches of love.
Swift uses specific language in “BYNGB” in order to show how the speaker finds Corinna beautiful. First off, the name, “Corinna” holds significance in the poem. The poem reveals that she is a prostitute, making “Corinna” a fitting name because it sounds more seductive and promiscuous than normal. The poem begins by stating that Corinna is the “pride of Drury-Lane” whose beauty reigns in the red light district. While reading these first few lines, the reader can infer that this is why Corinna is referred to as a “Nymph” in the title, because nymphs are defined as being beautiful female figures in a certain region. However, as the poem continues, the speaker describes Corinna’s nightly routine; she removes her “plumpers that serve to fill her hollow jaws,” she removes her wig and “eye-brows from a mouse’s hide” and she then proceeds to check her “shankers [and] running sores.” All of the sudden, this supposed “Pride of Drury-Lane” becomes this broken down, rather unpleasant woman to the reader. She is no longer nymph-like in any sense of the matter. However, even while all of her imperfections are being revealed, the speaker still refers to her as being a “lovely goddess” and a “nymph.” The use of these te...
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...ggles and the hardships that she experiences due to her lifestyle. She seems to be in a constant state of “anguish, toil and pain.” However, the speaker does not seem to partake in this pain. In fact, not once is the speaker mentioned as being part of her life or effecting it in any way. The reader is only given a glimpse into Corinna’s lifestyle and no one elses. However, in “TLSFFMV” the speaker discusses how his life was effected by the woman and how she brought grief to him. He is still “tangled in thy beauty’s web” and it’s causing him great heartache in his life. Interestingly enough, the reader doesn’t get any insight on the woman’s life nor any indication if she is as affected by the speaker as he is of her. Just as in “BYNGB,” the view is strictly narrowed to one person. However, this time it is narrowed to the speaker rather than to the subject of the poem.
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