Comparison of Manhunt and Hour. Essay

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Two poems which deal with the theme of loving in contrasting ways are Simon Armitage’s ‘The Manhunt’ and Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Hour’. ‘The Manhunt’ explores a wife’s relationship with her husband, an injured soldier. She loves him, but his injuries mean that she needs to try and find him again. On the other hand, ‘Hour’ presents a couple who are probably the first stages of a relationship, but similarly to The Manhunt, there is an obstacle to their love. In this case it is time. As mentioned, love is a main theme within both poems. In ‘Hour’, the concept of traditional love is played with. In ‘The Manhunt’, the theme of war means that love here is also not presented in a straightforward way. ‘Hour’ is written using the sonnet form, which is typically used for love poetry. We might therefore expect to see a more traditional love being presented. However, Duffy’s use of this form is not strict as she does not consistently use iambic pentameter. Therefore the presentation of love may not be as traditional as initially thought. Thus there appears to be a darker side ( reinforced by the lack of a rigid metre) such as by referring to love as a ‘beggar’. The only time it is strictly kept to is in the 2nd stanza. Here the love Duffy talks about is seemingly perfect and romantic, such as when she describes the way she sees him as “like treasure on the ground”. The rhythm reflects this idea of putting a loved on a pedestal, a common convention of the sonnet form, and therefore the perfection of the relationship. Within ‘The Manhunt’ the structure and form also represent the type of love presented in the poem. Armitage starts the poem off by using rhyming couplets, but this rhyme scheme breaks down as the poem progresses. E.g. ‘phase’ and ‘days’ later turns to ‘mine’ and ‘which’ This could reflect how the speaker delves deeper into her husband’s

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