Essay PreviewMore ↓
I am going to compare these two poems by thinking about the theme,
purpose, mood, language and imagery.
An extract from “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” by Oscar Wilde.
In the first verse of this poem, the writer introduces us to a
miserable setting of a prison, “the dripping wall, the leaden sky.”
This sets us in the mood of how it was to be a prisoner at the end of
the 19th century.
Oscar Wilde introduces us to another character, a murderer. Throughout
the poem, Wilde sympathizes with this character. We see this by the
use of language. Wilde tells us about the wardens who watched this
prisoner, “for fear the man might die.” “And by each side a warder
walked.” Although the wardens knew that this man would be put to
death, they still watched him in the event that the prisoner might
take his own life. Wilde refers to this man as ‘prey’ thus giving the
impression that the wardens are hunting this man’s blood. This use of
language reveals that Wilde disapproves of the way the man is treated
and sees this as an unjust act.
The purpose of Wilde’s poem is to protest against the authorities and
against the way the prisoners are treated. He writes about the harsh
“We rubbed the door, and scrubbed the floors,
And cleaning the shining rails:
And, rank-by-rank, we soaped the plank,
And clattered with the pails.”
The rails were already shiny they didn’t need cleaning.
Wilde also protests against the difficult and monotonous work. The
structure, language and brisk rhythm in this poem give emphasis to the
main point of Wilde’s poem.
“And shaven heads and feet of lead
Make a merry masquerade.”
He uses harsh repetitive words that are difficult to pronounce.
“With blunt and bleeding nails.” Just as this is difficult to say, it
was difficult work to do. The thought of this cruelty makes you
Oscar Wilde was in prison when he wrote this poem, and therefore he
could not openly address his intended audience. Instead, He used a lot
of irony in his writing. He questions the role of compassion through
irony, in such a place with a definitely ironic tone,
“And what should human pity do
Pent up in a murderer’s hole?
What word of grave in such a place
Could help a brother’s sole?”
Wilde is attacking the governor, the doctor, and the Chaplin for not
having pity on the prisoners. He disapproves of their approaches by
listing their actions coldly. A minister of church should be praying
with him. Religious men have jobs to pray with him and accompany him.
But the Chaplin isn’t doing his job.
How to Cite this Page
"Poetry Coursework." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Feb 2020
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Poetry Coursework I am going to compare these two poems by thinking about the theme, purpose, mood, language and imagery. An extract from “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” by Oscar Wilde. In the first verse of this poem, the writer introduces us to a miserable setting of a prison, “the dripping wall, the leaden sky.” This sets us in the mood of how it was to be a prisoner at the end of the 19th century. Oscar Wilde introduces us to another character, a murderer. Throughout the poem, Wilde sympathizes with this character.... [tags: English Literature]
1452 words (4.1 pages)
- G.C.S.E English and English Literature Coursework Poetry Assignment We have been set the task to compare the ways in which the poems I have studied deal with the passing of time. The three poems are “To his Coy Mistress”, “Ozymandias” and “To the Virgins to Make Much of Time”. All three of the poems clearly deal with the passing of time in different ways. “To his Coy Mistress” is about a man telling a woman that if he had all the time in the world, he would spend it with her. In the “To the Virgins to Make Much of Time” a man is trying to persuade a woman to make much of her youth with the time she is given.... [tags: English Literature]
1267 words (3.6 pages)
- An Exploration of Love Poetry Coursework Poetry is an idiosyncratic way of a person trying to articulate their feelings or other in a different way about a variety of topics, love, past experiences, politics etc. With the use of metaphors and similes, one can show diverse things without having to be precise about them. Not just words can tell us about the poem, a lot of the time we can learn how the poet is trying to express themselves, by looking at the sentence composition, how it is laid out, how many lines there are, etc.... [tags: Papers]
1698 words (4.9 pages)
- The Way Love is Presented in pre-1915 Poetry In this piece of coursework I will be comparing six different poems (pre-1915) to see the ways in which love is compared and presented. 'Porphyria's lover' written by Robert Browning the basic plot is a woman who has an obsessed lover who loves Porphyria deeply. The lover thinks that no one is good enough for her. And for some reason Porphyria cannot commit to her lover for reasons that are not stated in the poem. It could be Porphyria has already got commitments or the lover does not want to be seen with her in public.... [tags: Papers]
676 words (1.9 pages)
- English GCSE Coursework – Pre1914 Poetry How does Hardy portray the themes of loss and loneliness in his poems. I am going to be comparing three of Thomas Hardy’s poems. These poems are: Where The Picnic Was, The Voice and Neutral Tones. Hardy was writing in a time when women could not vote. Women were second-class citizens who mainly stayed in the home. During the time when Hardy was writing, it was very difficult for a woman to divorce a man. The only way the woman would be able to divorce the man was only if she could prove cruelty.... [tags: English Literature]
1780 words (5.1 pages)
- The Presentation of Love in Pre-Twentieth Century Poetry Introduction In this piece of coursework I am going to compare the presentation of love in three pre-twentieth centaury poems. The three poems I am going to look at are 'A Woman to Her Lover', 'Porphyrias Lover' and 'To His Coy Mistress'. I chose these three poems because they where the ones I have the most knowledge of. Main body The poem 'A Woman to Her Lover' is a poem by "Christina Walsh" who is presenting her views on a relationship.... [tags: Papers]
794 words (2.3 pages)
- Dealing With the Issue of Separation in Poetry Introduction In recent weeks in English we studied 3 poems of varying origin and of various types of poetry. We studied Havisham, by Carol Ann Duffy, Stop all the clocks by W.H. Auden and Valediction: Forbidden mourning by John Donne. All of which are about the loss of loved ones, but in a different way. In 'Havisham', the bride (Miss Havisham) was left at the altar by her to-be-husband; she has sat in her dressing room in her wedding dress for year after year since that day.... [tags: Papers]
1098 words (3.1 pages)
- Comparison of Poetry of a Different Culture We live in a society where culture and identity are very important. Culture is the distinctive practices and beliefs of a society. Culture is all about where we live, our language, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the celebrations we celebrate and the things we value. Many people who live in poorer countries move over to the bigger cities were there are more jobs and money. Many people end up living in a place they don't know. In English we have studied five poems from another culture, which was Jamaica.... [tags: Papers]
1216 words (3.5 pages)
- In this piece of coursework I am going to analysis and compare a number of poems, some written by the same authors and some by different authors. All 9 poems have one common link which is: Youth. The first poem is called “Stealing” and it was written by Carol Ann Duffy. This poem is about a troubled young man who takes away a snowman from someone’s garden and talks about other items he has stolen before such as a camera. In this poem there are certain words and phrases which you can relate to your sense of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste.... [tags: Duffy Armitage Plath Milligan Hood Clarke Heaney]
5064 words (14.5 pages)
- Chemistry coursework – Fuels Planning ======== Aim --- In this investigation I will have to find out which of the alcohol fuels: methanol, ethanol, propanol and butanol, is the best. The ‘best’ one will be the one which creates the most energy whilst burning. Introduction and prediction --------------------------- A fuel is a substance burned for heat or power. The best type of fuel is one that: can be transported safely without the worry of it catching on fire, gives out a lot of heat for a certain mass, does not cost very much, lights quickly, burns slowly, is safe to use and does not give off any form of polluting gases.... [tags: GCSE Chemistry Coursework Investigation]
948 words (2.7 pages)
“The governor was strong upon
The regulations Act
The doctor said that death was but
A scientific fact;
And twice a day the Chaplin called,
And left a little tract.”
In this poem, Wilde portrays a very miserable, dull and harsh picture
of life in prison. I think that it is a well-written poem. It tells us
of the hardship and fear that prisoners experienced. The poet himself
It is written as a ballad in a story like form, its brisk rhythm
creates the impression of monotonous and repetitive life they were
I think that “The Song of The Shirt” is another poem that conveys a
sense of being imprisoned.
Unlike the ballad, the woman who is described in “The Song of The
Shirt,” is not really imprisoned. However, in “The Ballad of Reading
Gaol,” Wilde is literally imprisoned where as in “The Song of The
Shirt” the woman is metaphorically imprisoned.
Unlike in “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” Hoods’ poem protests about the
way the woman is treated by – the “rich” people who are probably – as
referred to in the 4th verse – men. Thomas Hood describes the woman’s
work using hard monotonous language,
“With fingers weary and worn
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sits in unwomanly rags
Plying her needle and thread.”
In addition, he used a lot of repetition, “Stitch! Stitch! Stitch!”
“Seam, and gusset, and band,
“Band, and gusset, and seam,”
The song of the shirt is written in a cycle. It consists of a man
imagining himself in this woman’s place, he feels strongly towards the
situation. The first and last stanzas are the writer - Thomas Hood -
speaking, and in the following ones, it is the woman speaking. This
tells us the story of her life. It goes round and round everyday the
same boring work, it is a cycle. Thomas Hood may have seen this sort
of situation or may have heard about this situation. In the Ballad of
Reading Gaol we also find a cycle. Wilde describes how everyday they
scrubbed the planks and cleaned the ranks. This structure really makes
us feel the harshness and creates the image of the situation.
This is the same as in “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” where Wilde
describes his harsh work in jail.
The women in “The Song of The Shirt,” describes herself as a slave and
“Its O! to be a slave”
“Work, Work, Work –
As prisoners work for a crime.”
This represents the harshness of her situation. However, her
descriptions are all in similes as she was not really imprisoned. She
felt like she was a prisoner in her own home. She would rather be a
slave; at least her master would make sure she is properly fed.
Unlike In the Ballad, the woman in The Song of The Shirt does not fear
death since; she is close to it anyway.
“But why do I talk of death?
That Phantom of grisly bone,
I hardly fear this terrible shape,
It seems so like my own.”
She looks like death, as she isn’t fed properly. She can only afford
the very basics, “A crust of bread.”
She goes on to describe a life she wants. The language becomes more
poetic because she is talking of something that she cannot have. We do
not find this in the extract from “The Ballad of Reading Gaol.”
The purpose of this poem is written as a form of protest. The poem is
protesting about the conditions that women like her have to work in,
“unwomanly work.” Throughout the poem, there are references to these
unwomanly conditions, her being thin, slave like, and metaphorically
imprisoned. The woman has no time for tears, “A little weeping would
ease my heart.” She would feel better if she could cry.
She has no time for walks, “No blessed leisure for Love or Hope.”
She is literally working like a machine… “A mere machine of iron and
That toils for Mammon’s sake.”
This is the same as in “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” where Wilde
protested about the inhumanity and harsh work in prison.
A lot of lack of feeling is shown towards this woman, she works for
the greed of others. Both poems are written to bring to people’s
attention what situation these women have to deal with. The type of
people who read poems, are educated people. Someone in authority
should do something about this. The people should become aware of
social injustice. For the sake of luxury, women are suffering
terribly. “Its not linen you’re wearing out, But human creatures
The man in “The Ballad of Reading Goal,” committed murder. He lacked
spiritual help. Those who are doing hard labor might be better
citizens if they were treated like humans. They did heart-breaking
work. The author isn’t saying that people should not be send to
prison, but you should treat men as if they are men, not mindless
animals. The harsh labor in “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” is expressed
through the language used and the regular rhythm in this poem. The
poems are designed to make us feel the woman’s plight, they give
emphasis. In “The Song of The Shirt,” the only way she can make this
appeal is in a song.
Over all, I think that this poem is very well written. It’s persuasive
and really reflects what the women felt during those difficult times.
In “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” Wilde was restricted to expressing
all his feelings openly, therefore I think that “The Song of the
Shirt” is clearer and easier to understand. I also feel that it was
very wrong that a woman, who didn’t do anything to deserve such labor,
should be treated like that. Even if you have committed a crime,
people should have respected the fact that they were human beings.
Both poems convey a sense of imprisonment but in very different ways.
It wasn’t laws that needed to be changed, people needed a new