Comparing Poems Essay

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This essay is about comparing 4 poems: 2 Carol Ann Duffy poems and 2 pre 1914 poems. Comparing 4 poems I am going to compare the way women are presented in “Anne Hathaway” and “Salome” also in “Song of the Old Mother” and “My Last Duchess”. “Song of the Old Mother” is a dramatic monologue from the point of view of a working class mother. In the poem she bemoans her idle children who lay in bed whist she does all the work. Similarly, “My Last Duchess” is a dramatic monologue yet in contrast it is the only poem where the narrator is a man. In the poem the Duke of Ferara tells a stranger about his deceased wife making it sound as if he has killed her. Similarly, “Anne Hathaway” is about the wife of William Shakespeare however in the poem the wife is loved and appreciated yet in “My Last Duchess” the duke hates his wife. In “Anne Hathaway” we hear about the love life between Shakespeare and his wife. This contrasts to “Salome” where the narrator despises men. “Salome” is a dramatic monologue about a promiscuous murderer who preys upon men. It is loosely based upon the story of Salome who was alleged to have been the cause of John the Baptist’s death. “Song of the Old Mother” has a structure which uses rhyming couplets: “I rise at dawn, and kneel and blow, till the seed of the fire flicker and glow,”. I believe that it uses rhyming couplets because the poem is called Song of the Old mother as it has the same structure as most songs do. Similarly “Anne Hathaway” ends upon a rhyming couplet: “I hold him in the casket of my widow’s head, as he held me upon the next best bed.” This sums up the overall message of the poem: that he will live on inside her mind. Perhaps “next best bed” could suggest that she doesn’t feel like she was his priority but loved him anyway. It is written in sonnet form because the poem is about love and most sonnets were written about

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