Essay on Compairison of 'Not My Best Side' and 'The Road Not Taken'

Essay on Compairison of 'Not My Best Side' and 'The Road Not Taken'

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Both poems are very distinct in style. Not My Best Side is a funny, witty poem exploring stereotypes, whilst Warning is still entertaining, but it explores society and expectations. It is a poem centered about the classical storybook characters, but instead of having the story narrated as usual, the poet is giving the characters a voice of their own to see what they really feel – something that has never been done before. However, if we look at The Road Not Taken, we can see that is a poem of regret, it is a reflection of the past, and we get the sense that Robert Frost regrets a decision that he did not take.
Beginning with Not My best Side, we can see that it is divided into three separate stanzas, one for the dragon, the princess and the prince. The poet challenges orthodox images of the characters in the legend Of St George and the dragon only to replace them with another equally stereotypical set, but these new stereotypes have a modern twist.
The typical image of a dragon is that of being intimidating, fearful, and generally evil. This is challenged by the poet who chooses to make that character of the dragon fairly well-spoken, as he uses words such as ‘ostentatiously’. The new stereotype created by Fanthorpe is that of a chatty, critical, pompous actor rather than that of a vicious, evil monster. We can see this by the fact that he complains about the artist not having gotten his ‘best side’ for the painting, or ‘didn’t give me a chance to pose properly’ and finally ‘I was sorry for the bad publicity’, this shows that he knows that he is well known, and does mind what others may think of him. He is also very judgmental of his partners (i.e. the princess and the prince) referring to them as ‘ostentatiously beardless’ ...


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... is handsome and brave. He is supposed to rescue the princess because she is his true love. However…. In this portrayal of George, he is shown as being a modern, technologically-minded, boastful, self obsessed man. We are shown this in the first two lines of his stanza which say ‘I have diplomas in Dragon Management and Virgin Reclamation.’ This shows us the stereotypical attitude of a modern young man. He is very proud of the painting as it shows his ‘latest model’ and hi-tech equipment. He sees himself as a hero, considers himself brave and the rescuer of the damsel. His character does not create a voice of the hero of St. George, but an offensive abrupt and impolite voice. All three characters are the opposite of what one would expect from a fairytale such as that of the princess and the dragon, they are instead the typical stereotypes of a modern society.


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