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Handling the Issues of Rage and Murder in Poetry

analytical Essay
551 words
551 words
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Handling the Issues of Rage and Murder in Poetry

The two poems I am going to analyse are 'Education for Leisure' by

Carol Ann Duffy and ' The Hitcher. These poems both have potentially

dangerous speakers.

The first line of 'Education for leisure' contains murderous feeling,

this grabs the reader and submerses them into the poem.

"Today I am going to kill something. Anything"

The poet uses direct and powerful words, by using the word 'something'

instead of 'someone' the poet makes it unclear what the speaker wants

to kill.

In 'Education for Leisure' the speaker thinks that his readiness to

kill makes him somehow smarter then anyone else. This is shown when

the speaker says;

"I am a genius..."

The speaker seems to kill for killing sake. This sadism is shown in

line five when the speaker says;

I squash a fly against the window with my thumb.

We did that at school. Shakespeare."

This can be interpreted in two ways, one way is that killing and

Shakespeare can be associated with boredom. The other way is a line

from 'King Lear' By William Shakespeare

"As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;

They kill us for their sport." (4.1.57-58)

Carol Ann Duffy uses this a another way of symbolising the speakers

delusional view that he is a God.

The poet reinforces the point that the speaker is delusional when he

says;

"The cat avoids me. The cat

Knows I am a genius, and has hidden itself."

The speaker thinks here that the cat thinks he is a God and has hidden

out of fear, he thinks the whole planet revolves around himself.

The speaker also thinks he is famous.

" I dial the radio

and tell the man he's talking to a superstar.

He cuts me off."

By now the speaker is probably getting very frustrated, he then takes

a drastic step.

"I get our bread-knife and go out.

The pavements glitter suddenly. I touch your arm."

By saying 'your arm' instead of 'someone's arm' Carol Ann Duffy brings

the reader into the poem by making the point that people like the

speaker do exist and this sort of thing could happen.

The speaker in 'The Hitcher' is observably feeling very depressed.

"I'd been tired under

the weather,"

The speaker is presumably mentally ill, he picks up a hitcher "...in

Leeds"

One difference 'The Hitcher' has to 'Education for Leisure' is that in

'The hitcher' we know someone is killed.

"I let him have it

on the top road out of Harrogate - once

with the head, then six times with the krooklok

in the face..."

even though we're not directly told that the hitcher is dead it's

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes 'education for leisure' by carol ann duffy and the hitcher, which both have potentially dangerous speakers.
  • Analyzes how the poet makes it unclear what the speaker wants to kill in 'education for leisure'.
  • Analyzes how shakespeare's 'king lear' symbolises the speakers' delusional view that he is a god.
  • Narrates how the speaker thinks the cat is a genius and has hidden itself out of fear.
  • Analyzes how carol ann duffy brings the reader into the poem by saying "your arm" instead of "someone's arm."
  • Compares "the hitcher" to "education for leisure" in that we know someone is killed. they let him have it on the top road out of harrogate - oncewith the head, then six times with the krooklokin the face
  • Analyzes how simon armitage handles rage and murder differently in his poem than carol ann duffy does in hers.
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