At Castle Boteral

885 Words4 Pages
‘Write about poetic methods Hardy uses in ‘At Castle Boterel’’ In the poem ‘At Castle Boterel’, Hardy uses a variety of techniques and methods to convey thoughts about the different concepts and ideas presented by passage of time, the way in which time, and ultimately life, passes away, taking with it youth and opportunity, and leaving behind the imminence of death, and the knowledge of inevitable mortality. It was written during March 1933, when Hardy visits Cornwall after the death of his wife Emma. He recalls a particular incident when glancing at the hillside and seeing himself and Emma as they were forty-three years before. Hardy looks behind him both mentally and physically, this shows the Greek mythical character of Orpheus who had set out on a quest to recover his wife, and (Hardy went on a pilgrimage to seek his wife). However the failure of Hardy’s pilgrimage, similarly to Orpheus’, is inevitable, as Hardy is visiting the place in order to leave his courtship but by looking back at the hillside Hardy experiences the precious memory of his angelic wife Emma. Hardy also experiences the journey of reminiscing and how idealistic and romantic their relationship was, “Something that life will not be balked of”. The adjective ‘Fading’ suggests increasing distance and fading light and therefore the lessening importance of present reality. The word “Fading” also suggests the time f day being dusk, which has connotations of death. The words “drizzle…bedrenches” are negative onomatopoeias which present use of pathetic fallacy to suggest a sombre and melancholic mood to the poem. Although Emma is now dead, Hardy see’s her “phantom figure” remaining on forever on that hillside. Hardy compares the event they shared with his estranged to his present life without her. Repetition is used to
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