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Topic: Hunting with Dogs Running for your life, but yet knowing deep inside you that you're going to be ripped limb from limb. The last thing you hear is your screams for help and the sound of cheering by a group of humans. The last thing you see is your killer's face covered in your blood. Some people call this morally wrong act of cruelty a 'sport'. It is turning into a more common 'sport' around the country and it needs to stop"¦not for the distant future, but NOW! Reports and tests show that 96.9% of animals hunted and then killed by dogs die a slow painful death due to their atrocious injuries. The other 3.1% of animals killed by dogs die from exhaustion and die more quickly from its injuries. Either way the hunted animal dies from the effects of being hunted. Surely this has to stop? "Why" do you say? Well 'why' do hunting packs only hunt foxes, deer's, hares and minks? I'll tell you why, its because these animals don't defend themselves against the hounds. They aren't strong enough to attack back. They just run, run as far as they can go, until the hounds catch up and kill them. Easy targets. More animals hunted in one go. Quick and 'effective' games. If this isn't cruelty to animals, then I don't know and can't see, what is! RSPCA, CPHA and LACS are the most highly praised organisations that try to prevent these hunting games from carrying on. They try to their highest ability to try and ban hunting with dogs, but sadly the government and the House of Lords are too strong and believe this morally wrong blood sport is perfectly 'normal'. They say the sport can go ahead because it keeps control over the numbers of Foxes, Deer's, Hares and Minks. However, studies show that the number of those animals doesn't need controlling and could decrease at alarming rates in the near future. If they thought this sport helps keep control and that it's the only way, well they're wrong! Scientists show that the only rightful way to keep control over the numbers of animals is not to hunt them with dogs but to shoot them with a type of tranquilliser which would cause the animal to die a quiet, non painful death. This is kind to the animal without the outrage of a bloodthirsty dog ripping them limb from limb. Are the government and the House of Lords being stubborn? Scared to face up to the situation and the blood sports team members? Among the supporters of hunting there is a fear that if it is banned there will be a severe shortage of jobs in rural areas. However I feel that this argument does not stand up in today's modern world with its very low overall unemployment rates. In addition to this the rapid increase in opportunities for working at home coupled with the advances in computer technology and the associated training courses available make it easier to replace any lost jobs. "Hunting is natural. Humans have been hunting since the moment we were created, so why stop now?" says Mr Robert Burns, a farmer from Somerset. Everybody aggress initially we were barbaric in nature but surely we're suppose to have progressively become more civilised. Or have we? Picture the scene: You're looking for food for your loved one and your 4 children. You hear a noise, which you've heard before, but you carry on hunting for food for your family. Then suddenly out of the bushes jump 15 hounds, thirsty for blood, your blood. You run until you can run no more; you collapse. Fighting for your breath, you try to get up but before you know it you're being ripped apart. You're dead. Your body is covered in blood and taken away by a human on a horse. Your skin to make clothes. Your flesh to be eaten by your killers. Your bones crushed to mark various items. Your family is left to starve. Your family is dead. But worse the, perpetrators revel in it. The question we need to ask is, who are the real animals, the Foxes, Deer's, Hares and Minks, or US? Let us make positive steps to change this situation by getting the law changed to ban hunting with dogs.
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Topic: Hunting with Dogs Running for your life, but yet knowing deep inside you that you're going to be ripped limb from limb. The last thing you hear is your screams for help and the sound of cheering by a group of humans. The last thing you see is your killer's face covered in your blood. Some people call this morally wrong act of cruelty a 'sport'. It is turning into a more common 'sport' around the country and it needs to stop…not for the distant future, but NOW! Reports and tests show that 96.9% of animals hunted...
know it you're being ripped apart. You're dead. Your body is covered in blood and taken away by a human on a horse. Your skin to make clothes. Your flesh to be eaten by your killers. Your bones crushed to mark various items. Your family is left to starve. Your family is dead. But worse the, perpetrators revel in it.

The question we need to ask is, who are the real animals, the Foxes, Deer's, Hares and Minks, or US? Let us make positive steps to change this situation by getting the law changed to ban hunting with dogs.

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I have been asked to analyse...I have been asked to analyse and compare the way Shakespeare has portrayed the reactions of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to the murder of King Duncan. For this I will be using act 2 scene 2 and act 1 scene 5 as well as quotes from other scenes in the play. I will start with analysis, first of Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth has always been cold and calculating in previous scenes. A good example of how Shakespeare portrayed Lady Macbeth's character is in act one scene five. Here I have quoted her speech from this scene - "The raven himself is horse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan"¦ You shall be what you have been promised. Yet I'm worried about your nature. You are too tender hearted to take short cuts. You want greatness. You are not without ambition. But you lack the ruthlessness that's needed... Come home quickly, so that I can inspire you with my passion. My brave words will overcome the scruples standing between you and the golden circle" Here she talks about Duncan's entrance into Macbeth's castle as being fatal. She then talks about Macbeth's wishes to become king but she also talks about his lack of courage to kill Duncan so that he may rise to the throne. She then tells the audience about how she will attempt to talk Macbeth into murdering Duncan. "Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe-top full of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood"' Here she is starting to ask the spirits to take away her feelings of compassion "Unsex me here" she is asking for her womanly qualities or weaknesses to be removed. By this she means feelings of remorse, pity, guilt and compassion. This next part is spoken as though said to Macbeth. "He that's coming serve the thoughts of mortals: rid me of the natural tenderness of my sex, and fill me from head to toe with direst cruelty! Thicken my blood. Make me remorseless, so that no feelings of conscience can alter my foul plans, nor stand in the way of what must be done. Come to my woman's breasts and turn my milk sour, you abettors of murder, wherever you lurk invisible, awaiting evil deeds! Come, dark night, and shroud yourself in the blackest smoke of hell, so that my sharp knife won't see the wound it makes, nor heaven - peeping through the blanket of darkness "“ cry 'Stop! Stop!' Here she is again asking the spirits to remove her softness "Rid me of the natural tenderness of my sex". She repeats the part about shrouding herself in shadows to conceal what she is going to do from heaven. Maybe she is talking about how she will make Macbeth murder Duncan rather than do the deed herself. Another one of Lady Macbeth's speeches which depicts the character Shakespeare intended her to be is from act one, scene seven. "I have given suck, and know how tender 'tis t love the babe that milks me "“ I would while it was smiling in my face Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums. And dashed the brains out. Had I so sworn to you Have done to this." Here she is comparing her womanliness to her husband's manliness. Shakespeare uses quite shocking imagery in Lady Macbeth's speech here to further depict her ruthlessness. Now I have shown a couple of examples of the character of Lady Macbeth I will continue onto my analysis of the murder scene. Lady Macbeth is nervous, paranoid as she waits for Macbeth to return after she has sent him to perform the murder. "Hark! Peace! It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal bellman, Which gives the stern'st good-night. He is about it:" She's jumpy. The sound of the owl's hoot scares her. Lady Macbeth is imagining her husband killing Duncan "“ "He is about it". She then hears Macbeth shouting something from outside the room. She is then very afraid. "Alack! I am afraid they have awak'd, And 'tis not done; the attempt and not the deed Confounds us. Hark! I laid their daggers ready; He could not miss 'em. Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done't." Here she worries about getting caught. We also see a side of Lady Macbeth which has not been shown before. She is vulnerable, nervous and not at all like her former self. She also shows some emotion "Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done't." She could not have performed the awful deed herself as it would have felt like she was murdering her father. When Macbeth enters both she and he are nervous. One word sentences heighten the sense of urgency between them immediately after he enters. Macbeth is obviously not in a stable state of mind. He is wrapped up in his own guilt and is not capable of doing anything. Macbeth heard voices shouting whilst he was killing Duncan. "Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep' "“ the innocent sleep" Macbeth feels his guilt so much more because he killed Duncan whilst he slept and therefore he perceives him as innocent. Macbeth then feels that as he has murdered Duncan, who was innocent as he slept, he can no longer sleep as he can no longer even be considered innocent. Lady Macbeth is very quick to realise that Macbeth is hearing things and is not speaking the truth however much he may think he is. Macbeth talks about how he could not say 'Amen' when the voices he heard talking said 'God Bless Us'. He is saying he could not ask god to bless him when he has just committed such a huge sin. Macbeth's extensive use of religious language is an attempt to show how greatly he feels his guilt. It's as if he knows he is damned for his terrible sin. Lady Macbeth on the other hand simply says "Consider it not so deeply". Macbeth feels his guilt immediately while Lady Macbeth feels nothing in the early days. While Macbeth is too afraid to look upon what sin he has committed again Lady Macbeth returns the daggers which Macbeth has bought back from the murder which were supposed to be left there to frame the guards. Macbeth says; "I'll go no more." This is when Lady Macbeth's hold on his starts to disappear. She can no longer order him around. While Lady Macbeth is offstage Macbeth further considers his heinous act. "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red." Here he is saying that his hands are so stained with Duncan's blood that all the water in the ocean could not wash them clean. He says that his hands have so much blood on them that they would stain the green seawater blood red. He is so overwhelmed with guilt that while he is hearing knocking in the back round that rather than wash his hands to hide his act he stands there and contemplates how bloodstained they are. He has lost his ability to properly function in his mind. Lady Macbeth then returns and mocks her husband's manhood as she has done in many previous scenes. "My hands are of your colour but I shame to wear a heart so white." She then goes on to say; "A little water clears us of this deed." This shows the difference in the ways that Shakespeare has portrayed the ways Lady Macbeth and Macbeth feel their guilt initially. While Macbeth talks about his bloodstained hands turning the sea red Lady Macbeth has no such worries. They both then hear the knocking that Macbeth was hearing during his seas speech and retire to their chamber so they will not be found awake and appear suspect. As the play progresses Macbeth increasingly loses his conscience. He is made king after Duncan's death is discovered. He continues killing as though all feelings of remorse have been removed from his being. He murders Banquo and the thane of Fife's McDuff wife and child. The killing of the woman and child is uncalled for and particularly brutal on Macbeth's part, as it served no purpose. Banquo's ghost revealed himself to Macbeth at a banquet. I think this is a sign of Macbeth's own escalating madness bought on by guilt and fear of being damned. McDuff rebels and goes to England to ask for their assistance is overthrowing Macbeth. While he is gone is while Macbeth murders his family. Lady Macbeth is descending into madness. Act 5, scene 1 is the most obvious example of this. A waiting gentlewoman and a doctor are discussing Lady Macbeth. She then enters, sleepwalking. "Out damned spot! "¦ Yet who would have thought that the old man would have so much blood in him?" She is still seeing the blood of Duncan on her hands. She is haunted by the image of her bloodstained hands, much in the way Macbeth was in act 2, scene 2. "What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?" Here she is saying how she thought that after the murder of Duncan everything would be okay. She never thought there would be more killings. "Hell is murky! Fie, my lord "“ fie! A soldier, and afeared?" She is thinking about hell. She is now afraid of damnation, as Macbeth was in act 2, scene 2. Earlier she had asked evil spirits to assist her and now she is terrified of hell. She is remembering mocking Macbeth. Maybe now she feels bad for pushing him into the first murder. "The thane of fife had a wife: where is she now? No more o' that, my lord, no more o' that: you mar with all this starting." She is thinking about McDuff's wife. Macbeth no longer talked with Lady Macbeth about his plans after Duncan's murder. She is supposed to be unaware of these murders. She is annoyed at Macbeth for his continued killing and she has realised that she no longer has power over him. It's almost as if she's asking him to stop. "Here's the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes Of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh! Oh! Oh!" Again she is showing how haunted she is by the blood on her hands. This speech is very similar to Macbeth's earlier "Multitudinous seas incarnadine" speech. "Banquo's buried; He cannot come out on 's grave." This is a reference to the earlier ghost scene when Macbeth saw Banquo's ghost at the banquet after he had him killed. Lady Macbeth's descent into madness has taken longer than Macbeth's and her guilt is expressing itself in a much more subconscious way than Macbeth's did. Earlier she talked about a little water clearing them of the guilt but now she is haunted and terrorised by what they did. Lady Macbeth and her husband appear to have switched roles with their expressions of their guilt. While Macbeth appears to feel nothing and continues to murder Lady Macbeth is slowly going mad. Shakespeare tries to evoke feelings of pity in the audience for Lady Macbeth. The words "this little hand" are an example of this. Macbeth expresses his guilt in a conscious, public way, his continued killings are the main sign he has been driven mad by guilt. Lady Macbeth on the other hand shows her guilt in a private way. Her sleepwalking is a subconscious expression of her innermost tormented feelings. This is her sign of madness. Lady Macbeth's madness has also taken longer to manifest itself. Macbeth's guilt was immediate but Lady Macbeth has taken several scenes to show hers. Macbeth spoke about no longer being able to sleep in the murder scene but several scenes later we see it is in fact Lady Macbeth's sleep which is disturbed. This could be Shakespeare trying to show us how Lady Macbeth was a lot more open to suggestions that she ever appeared to be before the murder scene, when she was a very cold, hard woman who used a lot of shocking imagery and was really quite a scary person. Act 5 scene 1 is a performance of Lady Macbeth's guilt. Until this time she had suppressed her feelings. She even asked the spirits to take away her feelings of compassion so she would feel no guilt. It would appear that this had no effect and she feels terrible and that manifests itself in her sleepwalking and talking. Macbeth was originally paralysed by his guilt and was unable to even wash his hands clean of the blood without Lady Macbeth's instructions to do so. Later on Macbeth seems to have taken control to the extent where he is continuing to kill without first talking with Lady Macbeth about it. The blood symbolises the guilt felt by both plotters. Macbeth was earlier scorned by his wife for his guilty feelings. Lady Macbeth's fragmented language in act 5 scene 1 makes her harder to understand than she had been in previous appearances. I believe that Shakespeare is using her language to show her mental breakdown. Macbeth's guilt was shown then suppressed and the opposite is true for Lady Macbeth. As the play continues Lady Macbeth's madness gets to the point where she can no longer live with her guilt and she eventually commits suicide. Macbeth and his allies prepare for battle with McDuff. After Lady Macbeth's death a messenger informs Macbeth that Birnam Wood "“ Malcolm's army is approaching. The battle begins and in the final showdown McDuff kills Macbeth and Malcolm is hailed as the new king. In both the case of Macbeth and the case of Lady Macbeth their guilt eventually killed them but in different ways. While Lady Macbeth was driven mad by her guilt and killed herself, Macbeth went on a killing frenzy from his guilt and was eventually killed by someone who was his friend in the beginning when he went too far. In conclusion, while Macbeth and Lady Macbeth may have shown their reactions to Duncan's murder in totally different ways both of them got their comeuppance eventually.   

I have been asked to analyse and compare the way Shakespeare has portrayed the reactions of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to the murder of King Duncan. For this I will be using act 2 scene 2 and act 1 scene 5 as well as quotes from other scenes in the...

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Mercutio is a unique... Mercutio is a unique character in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. His relationships within the play being a 'kinsman to the prince and friend of Romeo' give him a curious involvement, as he is both concerned with Romeo's defence, and yet is detached from it as he is not a Montague and therefore is not actually part of the feud. He is able to stand apart from the conflict and rivalry between the two families and so is allowed overview Romeo's life in an unemotional way, giving him sound, wise advice like an elder brother. His other role in the play is to provide vulgar humour and bring the first part of the play to life. So that when Mercutio dies the humour dies as well. His death shows that humour can have no part in the final stages of the play. Although Mercutio's character is short lived his role in the play is much bigger, as his protectiveness over Romeo causes the tragedy. His death triggers off a sequence of tragic events, which ends with the death of the lovers. If Mercutio had not been killed then Romeo would not have been forced to avenge his friends death, he would not have been banished and therefore from seeing Juliet. Mercutio's other role in the play is to have contrasting ideas than that of the main character, so that Romeo's attitudes and behaviour can be emphasised. For example Mercutio's bawdy phrases and expressions of love opposes Romeo's innocent romantic love. Mercutio's essential love of fighting opposes Romeo's unwillingness to fight unless his tolerance is pushed, Mercutio's lively witty mockery of everything around him opposes Romeo's quiet courtesy and consideration and finally Mercutio's cynical view of people opposes Romeo's innocent belief in others. He is also important as a device for Shakespeare to express his own feelings and views of Elizabethan society. To get the audience to see the wrongs present in the world. Mercutio first appears rather late in the play in Act1 Scene4 when we have already met most of the main characters. He appears with Romeo and friends in a street carrying masks and torches about to gatecrash the Capulets' party. His opening words and actions are very revealing of his character and his role in the play, 'Nay gentle Romeo, we must have you dance,' Here Shakespeare shows Mercutio's concern and intense loyalty towards Romeo. He wants Romeo to dance at the party and enjoy himself. Mercutio does not seem to like the melancholy Romeo, and so wishes him to have fun, be merry and in good spirits, he does not want to see his friend sad or unhappy and so shows interest in his well being. We can see his importance as a friend wanting to protect Romeo from unhappiness. We can see from the very first words spoken by Romeo to Mercutio of the type of character he is, '"¦you have dancing shoes With nimble soles, I have a soul of lead So stakes me to the ground I cannot move.' Mercutio is described as being active, agile, and lively. Although Romeo is describing Mercutio's soles on shoes as being 'nimble', he is actually punning and therefore referring to Mercutio's spiritual soul and character. Here we also see an antithesis between Romeo and Mercutio. Romeo who has a soul of 'lead' so is heavy and earthbound, and Mercutio, who is light and free-minded. We are also able to see the first contrast between Mercutio and Romeo, as Mercutio is lively and able to dance because he does not have the burden of love, whereas Romeo is moody and miserable. Here Mercutio is used as a device to highlight Romeo's feelings. Mercutio's attitude to Romeo's lovesick infatuation is not very sympathetic, he is teasing and mocking Romeo's attitude towards his love for Rosaline, and believes he should part with this infatuation and 'borrow cupid's wings and soar with them'. He believes Romeo being a lover should dance with other girls. Here we see that Mercutio cannot understand the full concept of love. He thinks that one girl can be regarded as another. He believes that Romeo should no longer linger on his unreturned love and dance with other girls. This is the first of many references in which Mercutio's attitude of love will be essential in highlighting Romeo's genuine love. Mercutio bursts onto the scene with lively and bawdy wit, he mocks love with bawdy expressions, therefore continuing the theme of highlighting Romeo's attitudes to love, 'And to sink in it should you burden love; Too great oppression for a tender thing.' Mercutio uses rude words with double meanings to express his view of love, as 'oppression' has the meaning of being pressed down. It seems that the concept of romantic love amuses him. He says 'Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.' Here again he uses a bawdy pun on 'prick' and 'beat love down' meaning give love back as good as you get and you will defeat it. Elizabethans admired word play and punning and throughout the play the young men including Mercutio are important, in showing their wit to keep the audience amused. Mercutio's sense of humour appeals to us, his jesting about everything even his fatal wound, which kills him. Mercutio acting like an elder brother advises Romeo to take charge in controlling his own life, 'If love be rough with you, be rough with love.' From this speech we see the attitude Mercutio takes to life. He is his own person, and will not let anyone or anything take control of his life; he lives life to the full, is lively and well expressed. His words are important, as it seems that Romeo takes it to heart, because love is rough with Romeo and Juliet. It conquers their minds and will and they can think of nothing but being together. They are hurt and torn apart because of this love and so they are rough back to it, killing themselves to be together. Mercutio's importance as an elder brother who advises Romeo is stressed here as Romeo takes charge of death; he controls his life in the end like Mercutio advised. We can also see another characteristic of Mercutio in this scene. He appears to not care about his appearance, 'Give me a case to put my visage in. A visor for a visor. What care I'. He is asking for a mask to put his face in, a visor for a face that is already ugly, therefore saying that his face is already hideous enough not to need a mask. Mercutio does not care what people think of him, he is an individual who does not need people to love him for his beauty but for his wit and so makes fun of himself. He does not believe in external, on the surface appearances but believes real beauty lies in a person's mind. We also see Mercutio commenting on himself on the way to the party, when he says they are wasting their time, 'come, we burn daylight.' This shows that Mercutio never likes to waste time. He lives every second to the full. When Mercutio plunges into the Queen Mab speech we see other characteristics of him; he steals the limelight from Romeo who wants to tell the audience about his dream and dominates the stage with a very long speech made up of colourful, sensual language. It demonstrates his fiery explosiveness and wild imagination, 'her wagon-spokes made of long spinners' legs', he conjures up this 'nonsensical fantasy', as an example of his love to perform in front of others, have people around him enchanted and enthralled with his words running out in an uncontrollable flow. Once again his imaginative language contrasts that of melancholy Romeo. He loves to hear himself talk as Romeo describes him to the nurse 'A gentleman nurse, that loves to hear himself talk; and will speak more in a minute than he will stand in a month.' Romeo is telling the audience as the Queen Mab speech shows that, Mercutio is a man of words rather than actions. However that is not so, Mercutio through his actions is killed. Another purpose of Mercutio's Queen Mab speech is a way for Shakespeare to express his own views upon the selfish, dishonest flaws in human kind. While delivering his speech Mercutio seems angry at his society and through satirical commentary conveys his cynicism of the world. Mercutio describes Queen Mab as the 'fairies midwife' who is responsible for the dreams of humans. As Mercutio puts together the image of Queen Mab flying through the air in a wagon we receive a revolting picture. For example the 'cover' is made from grasshoppers wings, likewise for the riding-whip made of 'crickets bones'. Maybe this is to show the uneasiness and sickening disgust of Mercutio. The disgust he feels towards Queen Mab by describing her carriage as being made up from horrible insect parts. To show how she tears up reality as the animals are torn apart to make her carriage and grants people what they desire when they do not deserve it. Mercutio goes on to criticise society's superstitions, lifestyle and the way they behave towards other people, 'Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid,' He is referring to worms being pricked out, as worms are supposed to breed in the finger ends of lazy maids. Mercutio is saying that these people do not have the right to call anyone lazy especially their servants. For it is they who are lazy, employing people to do their work, they are hypocrites. God gave them hands and legs to use but just because they happen to have the money they do not use them. They live a life of luxury while watching people do their 'dirty work'. From line 71 Mercutio comments sarcastically that most people dream of selfish things, that courtiers 'dream on curtsies straight' so they may get more money by doing insufficient deeds that anyone could do. Lawyers who 'straight dreams on fees,' are not happy with their status, the amount of money they already get. Instead they are greedy and want more. Ladies who dream 'straight on kisses' although their breaths are 'tainted' with unpleasant smells. They should not eat all those sweets and still expect to be kissed. These ladies cannot give up something less sweets for what they desire as they are spoilt. Courtiers who dream of 'smelling out a suit,' once again they are willing to take money off others to do a job that is unnecessary. They are taking advantage of their position to gain more money. Mercutio even goes as far as to criticise parson's who are 'supposedly' devoted to God yet dream of another 'benefice'. Soldiers who dream of cutting 'foreign throats', and when awake get scared so swear 'a prayer or two and sleep again.' These soldiers dream of killing men, God's human beings with high quality swords, yet they turn to God when they need help. However abusing the prayers by 'swearing' them out as swearing has become so natural, they cannot pray. Here Mercutio is questioning how these people can have murder on their consciences, he is criticising soldiers who are meant to fight for reason and truth, kill if necessary but dream of gaining glory by abusing their profession. Mercutio in line 92 describes Queen Mab as a 'hag' who presses on maids as they sleep and 'learns them first to bear'. Here Mercutio's bawdy references return. He calls Queen Mab a fairy form of hag for giving girls erotic dreams. The imagery used in this speech is disgusting, and so shows Mercutio's disgust with the world. Mercutio's character is very important at present, as he is the only character who will speak out and express his feelings, therefore acting as an instrument to provide satirical commentary. Romeo interrupts Mercutio and cuts his speech short, 'Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace. Thou talk'st of nothing.' It seems that Romeo is trying to calm Mercutio down from his anger, his 'pent-up disgust', and his cynical, depressive streak. It seems that Mercutio's intelligence causes him to be unfulfilled and restless, as he is dissatisfied with ordinary affairs of men. Here Shakespeare portrays another contrast between Mercutio and Romeo in the way that Romeo does not share the same cynicism as Mercutio but rather thinks his speech is trivial. His belief that people always act selfishly highlights Romeo's innocent belief in others. Maybe Shakespeare is using Mercutio to highlight Elizabethan ignorance of human kind in the way that Romeo thinks Mercutio's speech is 'nothing'. Mercutio however carries on, changing his tone to more serious poetry, as conveyed through lines 100-104, maybe as a sign of an unintentional prophesy of Romeo's wavering love for icy Rosaline to the warm welcoming Juliet, 'turning his side to the dew dropping south.' His speech was supposed to cheer Romeo up but rather than diminish his foreboding has deepened it. Maybe Mercutio himself without realising it has foreseen his own death, the ultimate dreamless sleep and so his speech being essential in changing the mood of the play and preparing the audience of what is to come, the brutal, cruelness of reality. In Act 2 Scene 1 Mercutio mocks Romeo's previous love of Rosaline, as they do not know about his new love Juliet. Mercutio continues to tease Romeo about his lovelorn state throughout the remainder of the scene. He pretends, bursting with high spirits to be a conjurer or magician. Thus making Romeo appear by uttering a spell based on Rosaline's beauty, 'I conjure thee by Rosaline's"¦scarlet lip"¦quivering thigh.' Mercutio speaks about love as well as the human body in physical and bawdy terms. His spell is full of sexual innuendo; he is actually making a mockery of love as he jumps from one outrageous indecency to another. Mercutio is particularly bawdy in lines 23-6 and in his next speech, ''Now will he sit under a medlar tree, And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit,' Here Mercutio uses rude Elizabethan slang as a 'medlar tree' bore small brown apples, which were meant to resemble the female sexual organ. Through this Shakespeare is again showing the main features of Mercutio's character, his mocking vulgar humour, his exuberant love of words. However we also see his rude jokes, sexual innuendo and altogether profane view of love oppose the 'holy love' that Romeo spoke of. He cannot accept love as pure and passionate. Shakespeare uses this scene to set Mercutio's idea of love against Romeo's transformed and purified version. At the beginning of Act2 Scene 2 Romeo discharges Mercutio's bawdiness, 'he jests at scars that never felt a wound,' interpreting as 'a man who has never been wounded by love cannot understand its pains'. In Act 2 Scene 4, which is set in the street, we see Mercutio once again as he mocks Tybalt. He ridicules new fashion, the Italian style of fencing and Tybalt who is most skilled in this new fashion of duelling, 'He fights as you sing prick-song, keeps time, distance, and proportion,' Meaning he fights in rhythm as if to music, keeping time, distance and balance. He comments on Tybalt's speaking in the latest fashion, which affects all the expressions and 'mannerisms of speech,' and he proceeds to imitate him, 'By Jesu, a very good blade"¦whore!' He refers to these 'fashion-mongers' as 'strange flies' who buzz about and waste their energy, they are so specific about seeming modern that they 'cannot sit at ease on the old bench' meaning that they complain about everything old. Once again Mercutio shows his anger and criticism towards young men who are excessively concerned with fashion 'no matter how stupid each new trend may be'. Mercutio is an individual who does not slavishly follow fashion and likens fancy speech, manners and fencing with falseness and shallowness. For although Tybalt may appear to be a gentleman on the surface, he does not behave like one, for gentlemen do not look to start fights. Shakespeare is showing that characters like Tybalt are only skin deep, they have no depth, Mercutio in contrast is always himself, he does not disguise his feelings, his personality, his character with trying to be something else. Theses speeches suggest that Elizabethan society was obsessed with money, fashion, manners and all that is superficial. In this scene we actually see for the first time Mercutio lost for words. Mercutio greets Romeo with a bout of bawdy punning and we see Romeo joining in as they both battle it out verbally, ending with Mercutio saying 'come between us good Benvolio, my wits faints?' Romeo matches Mercutio's teasing with his own jokes and puns. Maybe Mercutio likes to be in the company of witty and lively conversation such as Romeo's at present, as it stimulates him. He is so happy that Romeo is more 'sociable'. Delighted that Romeo is rid of his melancholy love sickness, they battle in ridiculous nonsensical puns, he does not have the tolerance for any mans groaning for love as he believes it like fashion and fencing to be full of pretence. Here Shakespeare is preparing us for a different kind of duelling for later on, which will end first in Mercutio's then Tybalt's death. Shakespeare is showing that words can be used to battle, but actions result in death. Both Mercutio and Benvolio are delighted in Romeo's change in character from love sickness because they think he is out of love, when he is actually very deeply in it. The nurse's arrival leads to more banter and teasing, this creates a different atmosphere from the one immediately before it and contrasts with the next. Here Shakespeare has the young men talk not in a flowing blank verse, but in an energetic, bright prose. It is 'full of snappy wisecracks' 'No hare sir, unless a hare sir in a lenten pie, that is something stale and hoar ere it be spent.' Here Mercutio's jokes are about hares, which he purposely and punning confuses with whores. He mockingly describes Juliet's nurse as dry and old, a prostitute, grey haired and a whore who is used up. Mercutio is teasing the nurse bawdily and the nurse pretends to be outraged by it, 'I pray you sir, what saucy merchant was that.' This is the only time throughout the play that Mercutio and the nurse actually meet. They are parallel characters, both are bawdy, talkative, and think of life and it's pleasures 'purely in physical terms'. The nurse's coarse dialogue between her and the witty lads emphasises the constant feuding between the two families. Act 3 Scene 1 is important in studying Mercutio as his death triggers off a series of tragic events, inevitable disasters, which result in the deaths of the lovers. The death of Mercutio is to a great extent responsible for the death of Tybalt, Romeo's banishment and not being able to see Juliet. If Romeo were allowed to stay in Verona he would have known the scheme of Juliet's pretence death to get out of marrying Paris and therefore would have no reason to kill himself. Both of them could have lived happily together 'alls well ends well', however this scene acts as a pivotal turning point where the signs of a comical or love play are diminished. Mercutio, the major source of comedy is lost and the play goes from a comedy to a tragedy. This scene is the climax, it marks the final appearance of Mercutio where after the attention of the audience can be focused on Romeo and Juliet, and captures the highest, memorable part of him; it sums up his character preparing the audience to lose him altogether. Firstly Shakespeare again conveys Mercutio's showman, exhibitionist side when he replies to Benvolio's urging to withdraw to a private place as 'all eyes gaze on us', 'Men's eyes were made to look, and let them gaze. I will not budge for no man's pleasure, I.' Once again Mercutio the natural born performer, he enjoys being the centre of attention and giving people something to see where he can display his humour and wit. We see that he does not care about what people think of him. He is his own man and will 'budge for no man's pleasure'. Secondly we see his physical protectiveness toward Romeo as he steps in front of him and defends Romeo's and the Montague's honour by saying that he wants 'nothing but one of' Tybalt's 'nine lives.' Here we see Mercutio's courage and his genuine love and loyalty for Romeo as a friend. Thirdly we see Mercutio's stubbornness and strong-willed mind as he refuses to back down even after Romeo urges him to stop, 'Gentlemen"¦forbear this outrage. "¦the Prince expressly hath Forbid this bandying in Verona streets.' This shows that Mercutio despises Tybalt so much that he is prepares to be put to death for fighting in the streets than have Tybalt gain satisfaction out of the yielding of Romeo from a fight. We also see Mercutio's disrespect and mockery towards Tybalt because he is shallow, and not genuine. He is a poser who looks down on Romeo because he is a Montague; he is prejudiced, which causes Mercutio to not be able to restrain his feelings and attitude because of sheer hatred towards him. Finally we see again Mercutio's quick-witted humour, 'And but one word with one of us? Couple it with something, make it a word and a blow' Here Mercutio is deliberately provocative and aggressive. Everything that Tybalt says he turns around, twists and tears apart. In the opening lines of Act 3 Scene 1 we can see some notification of what will happen later in the scene. The first three lines set the mood of the scene as Benvolio tries to persuade Mercutio to 'retire' as the 'day is hot', therefore people are likely to be more quarrelsome. He is warning Mercutio that there is bound to be a fight. This tension and apprehension is communicated to the audience as Benvolio prepares us for a 'brawl'. However Mercutio disregards what anyone says or does and embarks on a speech, which is likened to himself rather than Benvolio. This speech is the typical not bothered, spoiling for a fight, reckless Mercutio. He goes off at a tangent and turns on poor, hapless Benvolio. However this speech is ironic as Mercutio is talking more about himself. Mercutio has so much energy that it has to find a release, which he does by selecting a topic to give a lecture on. Because at present he does not have a target, he picks on Benvolio who takes the full blast of his behaviour. He teases Benvolio by inventing a tough, hard man who is ready to fight, who is violent and a show off. He launches into a tirade and accuses Benvolio of quarrelling with someone for no reason because his head is 'as full of quarrels as an egg is full of meat,' this is an ironic statement as Mercutio is the quarrelsome one. Shakespeare uses a simile to get the audience to imagine Mercutio full of words, imagery and humour. He has so much to say, express his feelings and attitudes that his head is crammed, as an egg is crammed with meat. He is the one who is 'hot tempered' and will pick a fight over nothing. Benvolio unintentionally forecasts Mercutio's death by saying 'truly that such a man could not survive as much as an hour and a quarter.' This is an example of Mercutio's twisted humour; he has nothing better to do so invents a fictitious character of Benvolio. This speech is important in an effort to express Mercutio's restlessness and edginess so that the audience can see he will willingly accept a fight. When Tybalt arrives on stage the characteristics of Mercutio that the audience know and love are emphasised as we see the actions and words exchanged with Juliet's cousin. Tybalt is stolid, unimaginative, lacking in humour, and stony faced. Mercutio contrasts his character so much, that the audience immediately hate him when he appears on the scene. There is an exchange of insults between Mercutio and Tybalt. The combination of opposing ideas in sentences is an example of Mercutio's quick wit, 'Could you not take some occasion without giving?' the antithesis in that sentence being 'give' and 'take', meaning that can Tybalt not seize the opportunity without one having to give him it. Mercutio is describing himself, his quick wit and intelligence enables himself to mock anything he desires whether words or actions. He therefore seizes the opportunity to mock Tybalt by punning on the word 'consort', Tybalt tells him that he 'consortest' with Romeo, meaning that he is a friend who goes along with him, like a companion. But then Mercutio twists it around and replies 'consort? What dost thou make us minstrels?' meaning musicians in a band, servants of Romeo, a low life. He then puns on Tybalt's words again when Romeo arrives on the scene, when Tybalt say's 'here comes my man', meaning the one he is after. However Mercutio twists it around and replies, 'But I'll be hanged sir, if he wear your livery. Marry go before to field, he'll be your follower; Your worship in that sense may call him man.' Mercutio discredits Tybalt's words, he is saying that he will be 'hanged' if Romeo would ever wear his livery; therefore Romeo is not his servant. When you would say 'my man' you would be referring to your servant and Mercutio is saying that Romeo never ever in his life would become Tybalt's servant, he would rather die. Mercutio then says 'go ahead to the field where he will fight you or be your servant'. He sarcastically refers to Tybalt as 'your worship'. The audience is able to see in this scene Mercutio and Tybalt fencing verbally. We are able to see Mercutio tear Tybalt's words and make a mockery of him in front of everyone. Tybalt is so superficial that he has nothing inside of him, he has no words to match Mercutio like Romeo has, he can learn his fancy duelling and manners from a book, but he cannot learn to match anyone like Mercutio verbally. Mercutio challenges Tybalt to fight because he is the only person who is more willing minded to fight than Tybalt. Also because he cannot believe that Romeo would withdraw from a fight and so allow someone like Tybalt who he hates so much, be able to mock his friend's cowardice. He can hardly believe that Romeo would do this, as he does not know that Romeo will not fight because Tybalt is now his cousin as he has married Juliet, 'O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!' Mercutio is astonished at the calm way Romeo surrenders to insult, he is disgusted at Romeo's shameful yielding and so prepares himself to stand up for his friend's honour. So with 'Alla stoccata' he starts defending the Montague's honour. He replies this sarcastically as it is a stroke you would learn in fencing, to show Tybalt that he thinks all this fancy duelling as a travesty, a farce. He answers wittingly to Tybalt's challenge, all his insults revolving around the imagery of a cat because of Tybalt's name, 'rat catcher', 'king of cats', 'nine lives', this is ironic as Mercutio describes his fatal wound as a 'scratch' from Tybalt. Although physically it was Romeo's fault that Mercutio got injured, Mercutio himself is actually to blame for his own death. Shakespeare gives Mercutio these dying speeches to reflect what we know of him, as even though he is in pain, he humours us at a critical moment. Mercutio's dying language is full of humour. He tells a series of jokes about death and wounds, even at death he does not show the feelings and emotions that matter like love. He is not dramatic about his own death and does not show that he is scared to die; he does not want his friends to see him behave differently. He puns on 'grave man' saying that he will be grave - meaning not happy, as he will be making no more jokes because he will be dead in his grave. This shows his courage and bravery in coping with a wound. His bitterness and cynicism is emphasised when he shouts three times 'a plague on both your houses'. This is a high point of the speech and turns out to be prophetic. We can see there is resentment and anger in his face, his tone changes to a more serious tone as he fences at the feuding families and scolds Romeo for coming between them to allow Tybalt to strike the blow. He cannot believe that a man who learnt fencing by the book won over him, one who fights with passion, emotion and natural skill. Mercutio's death is of a piece with the way he lived his life, as it represents his courage and nobleness. His very bitter jokes and loyalty to Romeo gain our admiration, as he is not involved in the feud. However we see an unexpected seriousness in his voice when he curses the two families, 'a plague on both your houses,' and we see his dying wish fulfilled, as in the final scene of the play the prince declares, 'See what a scourge is laid upon your hate, That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love!' Mercutio's death fits in with the way he lived his life, as we admire the performance he puts on even at his death. Mercutio can be compared to a shooting star that is hurled in the first part of the play. He lights up the first two acts as a star lights up the night sky, his death portraying the light extinguished as the play and the star go down hill from thereon to a final tragedy, the play becomes biter and no longer light hearted. The death of Mercutio's character was important for Shakespeare as he distracted the audience from the main plot. If he were still present in the play the audience would be wondering what comical thing he would do or say next. He had to be removed from the play so that the audience would be able to see the clear storyline and feel the cruel, ruthlessness of the lovers' deaths. Although Mercutio's death is very moving and sad, Shakespeare ensures that Mercutio's death does not have the same effect on the audience as the lovers' deaths, by adding humour even when Mercutio is dying. Also Shakespeare would have had him carried offstage to die hidden from the audience. Mercutio is the only character within the play "Romeo and Juliet" who demonstrates the characteristics of being individual. Therefore he is extremely significant in the play as his actions and speeches can be constantly used as a device for Shakespeare's views of Elizabethan society, highlighting attitudes and providing amusement for the audience. However Shakespeare uses Mercutio most importantly to point out the moral of the play, the foolishness of the feud.   

Mercutio is a unique character in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. His relationships within the play being a 'kinsman to the prince and friend of Romeo' give him a curious involvement, as he is both concerned with Romeo's defence, and yet is detached from it as he is not...

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In 1798 a new era... In 1798 a new era began in English poetry called the Romantic age. This age provoked the thinking of new radical ideas and thoughts and the writing of these ideas in poems. The poets included Samuel T Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson and William Wordsworth. Some of their ideas and thoughts include: Rebellion against tyrannical and despotic governments and leaders. These feelings were inspired by the recent French and American revolutions. Strong sense of beauty in the natural world around them. Some romantic poets even took to worshipping nature! Sympathy with poor, humble people. Vivid imaginations. The Romantic poets often made fantastic new ethereal worlds. Interest in ancient legends and traditions. A sense of melancholy and loneliness. They often expressed much vitality and emotion in their works. In this essay I will try to see if the romantic poem I will be examining has these ideas incorporated in it. The two poems I will be looking at are both on war but by different authors, with different ideas about war, in different times. I shall examine 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', by Alfred Lord Tennyson and 'Dulce et Decorum est', by Wilfred Owen. I will compare the two poet's attitudes towards war by examining the context, structure style and language of both poets. The first poem I will be examining is 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The poem is a secondary account of the infamous charge the English Light Brigade made on the 25th October 1854 in the Battle of Balaclava which was part of the Crimean War. To examine the poem we need to know the historical background of the things it is describing. To put it plainly the Crimean War really had nothing whatsoever to do with Great Britain. It was a war between Turkey and Russia but as Britain was sided with Turkey and did not want Russia to find a colonial interest in British India, Britain helped to fight Russia. Now back to the actual Charge of The Light Brigade. The Charge went wrong because a military leader Lord Cardigan, interpreted the wrong orders from his superior Lord Raglan. The Brigade ended up charging into the wrong valley and came face to face with the Russian Artillery. They were mowed down mercilessly Alfred Lord Tennyson was not a soldier in the Light Brigade, he wasn't in any of the armed forces and he wasn't even present at the battle. In actual fact Tennyson was the Poet Laureate of Britain and was inspired to write the poem based on a newspaper article he had read on the Charge. The main idea Tennyson is providing in his poem is the fact that he thinks the Light Brigade should be honoured by everyone and his poem is one way of honouring them. He is also using the Romantic notion of dying in battle being very heroic. The tone of the poem actually surprised me. I thought it would be like a sombre epitaph, written on a gravestone style but in fact it seems to have the feel of a funeral party which is celebrating the bravery and life of the Light Brigade rather than being sunk in thoughts of death. The poem it self is written in six stanzas of varying lengths. This reminds me of six scenes in a movie, the middle ones being a climax and the ones leading up to it slowly setting the scene for a big showdown. The ones after the climax seem to be the 'calm after the storm' and quietly conclude the poem. The rhyming in this poem is few and irregular but repetition is used a lot in this poem stanzas one, three and five, and it adds to the war theme of this poem e.g. Stanza 1: if you say the 'half a leagues' out loud and fairly fast it will sound like galloping horses, i.e. the Light Brigade itself who were cavalry. I think this is a very good use of literary rhythm and think it's very clever. I will now go through the poem thoroughly and pick out important words and language devices. Firstly I believe the narrator of the poem knew from the beginning that the Light Brigade were doomed as he uses the phrase 'into the valley of death rode the six hundred', line 7. The use of 'valley of death' is actually an allusion to Psalm 23 of the Bible. In this verse it carries on to say 'I will fear no evil as you are with me'. I find this ironic as the Bible is saying that God will protect them but in actual fact the Light Brigade was annihilated. Another thing I find good about this poem is the fact that Tennyson tries to make the poem sound as realistic as possible and is trying to draw the reader in. This is evident from the fact that he uses 'charge for the guns!' line 6 as the command for the Light Brigade. This sounds very real and militaristic and makes the reader feel as though they really have been sucked into a battlefield rather than something like 'then they charged'. Tennyson being a Romantic poet uses many Romantic ideas in this poem. For example when he says 'their's not to make reply"¦their's but to do and die', he is saying that even though someone's made a mistake and the soldiers know it they, they will still carry out their orders, bravely, even though they will die in the process. While Tennyson believes the Light Brigade are being very heroic he doesn't believe that this is a fairy tale and none of them will die or get injured. This is proved in lines 18, 19 and 20 when the poet says 'cannon to the left/cannon to the right/ cannon to the front of them'. We can gather that having cannons blowing off in front of a group of men with horses is not the best tactic for the British as most of the will die or get injured from having 14 pound iron balls hitting them. Another Romantic notion Tennyson is using is the idea of not giving up whatever happens, even death. For example in line 22 he writes that the Light Brigade were 'stormed at with shot and shell'. This means that even though the soldiers are dying, being injured and watching their comrades fall, each one continues his job to the end. Even today we find this idea romantic and heroic, how many hundreds of movie battle scenes have guys with 6 arrows in them still fighting. Even Tennyson's idea of the Light Brigade's weapons is Romantic: They are described as having 'sabres' line 27, which may not sound especially romantic, but he could have simply described them as swords. Sabres are traditionally from Arabia and Persia, countries with very big romantic connotations themselves, think Arabian Nights and Omar Khayaam. Therefore I believe that the word 'sabre' is very well used and very subtly put. Also the style of fighting in Tennyson's is different: while today we will shoot at an enemy soldier or throw a grenade at him, the Light Brigade weren"t doing that; they were 'flashing their sabres bare'line 27. Well it was the Romantic era of warfare as well as we have mentioned. No nuclear bombs, poison gasses or rocket propelled grenades; instead we have velvet uniforms with ornately decorated pistols, curved sabres, medals glinting in the sun and brave battle horses. However Tennyson wants us to believe that the Light Brigade held out for a long time and fought their hardest and were winning some of the time. This is proved when he writes that the Russian troops have been left 'shattered and sundered' line 36. This is good because it makes the reader hope that the Light Brigade has gained the upper hand and aren"t going to die. Tennyson seems to be a master of keeping the reader hooked to a poem. When he writes 'then they rode back but not/Not the six hundred', lines 37 and 38, he is telling the reader that some of the Brigade have been eliminated. He does not say all or most but he makes the reader hope and hope that only twenty or thirty have died. However as the remnants of the Light Brigade retreat back they are mowed down by cannon balls. This is proved in line 41 where Tennyson says 'cannon behind them'. The effect of this line is that the reader will be prepared for the death of the Light Brigade, which is inevitable, but it is not blunt or boring as it would be if Tennyson said 'then the last few died'. Tennyson's feelings on how heroic it is to die in battle are very different from todays. Where, in line 50, he asks 'when can their [the Light Brigade] glory fade?' it seems to be a rather stupid comment to make as these days the charge is looked at as an unsolicited disaster, Tennyson is actually calling it 'glorious' which shows how different ideas of war were in the Romantic era. We can tell, however, that Tennyson feels sorry for the Light Brigade, for example, when he uses the word 'noble' to describe them in line 55. This is good as it shows that the Light Brigade's memory is being preserved forever in a good way and not as a group of blundering idiots. To me all of Tennyson's feelings on the charge can be summed up into one word: honour as he uses in lines 53 and 54. Dying in a battle was honourable, being remembered is honourable, and being part of a massacre is honourable. I think that since Tennyson never was a soldier this romantic idea was his only opinion about wars and fighting them. However it isn't my view as we will see in the next paragraph. I definitely like this poem from a poetry point: it is well written with a good choice of words and is definitely a good and fitting tribute to the Light Brigade and no doubt they will be treated like heroes forever. However, I do not agree with the poet. I do not find dying in a war a heroic feat, unless you have saved many people in the process. I definitely do not think going to the battle field and killing other people for such a futile reason as 'protecting your allies' that heroic. Seeing people's heads and limbs flying through the air as they have been dismembered by a cannonball, and having to do that kind of thing yourself, would rather make you the victim. I certainly admire the soldier's braveness even when they knew the order was blundered, to obey unquestioningly. That is what I believe is brave, but they did not die heroically or as a sacrifice, I mean they didn't save the country, or another regiment in the process; they were simply wasted lives because of a mistake, and that is not deliberate braveness. So in that light, I believe Tennyson is wrong. Definitely the poem has made me think but only as to what I would do if I were one of the Light Brigade. The next poem I will be analysing is 'Dulce et Decorum est', by Wilfred Owen. This poem is similar to 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' in a few ways. Firstly, and most obviously, both of them are about war. However, whereas 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' contains lots of Romantic imagery and ideas this poem doesn't. Like 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. This poem also acknowledges that soldiers have a hard time in battles, especially when the odds are against them. However, in contrast to 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' Owen believes that having a hard time doesn't necessarily make you a hero. The poem 'Dulce et Decorum est' is set on a World War I battlefield. It is a first hand account Owen being a soldier in the battle and not just a newspaper reader like Tennyson! of a gas attack of which there were many in World War I. What is fundamentally important when comparing these two poems is the fact that one is from the mid 19th century while other is about 75 years later. Many things have changed, the map of the world for one: Britain now had a prosperous empire that covered a quarter of the world. Anaesthetics were being used all the time in medicine and war had also changed: soldiers didn't fight with sabres and guns that took thirty seconds to load; they used tanks, automatic rifles, machine guns and even aeroplanes. Wars were no longer arranged over vast fields, now soldiers fought and died in their hundreds of thousands, for a little, wasted patch of land ten metres square which was filled with unexploded shells and barbed wire. The main idea I think Owen is providing in his poem is the fact that wars aren't romantic, dying in a battle isn't heroic and getting yourself involved in a war should not be done for such reasons as it was in World War I looking good, being a hero, nothing else to do, etc. The tone of his poem is rather grim and when I read it I get a mental image of Owen shouting 'blast Tennyson and those callow romantics this is what war and dying in it is really like. The structure of this poem is in four stanzas and every line in the poem starting with the first, rhymes with the one after the one after it. So line 1 rhymes with line 3, line 2 with line 4, line 3 with line 5, line 5 with line 7 and so on. Generally I like poems which rhyme better than ones that don't, and at first I thought this poem didn't rhyme, but as I read it out and studied it, it fell into place. I especially like this poem because of its hidden, very creative rhyming scheme which must have been very hard for Owen to make a whole poem like this. I will now start going through the poem and picking out important and interesting words and devices. Firstly, Owen does not waste any time making it look like his brigade is living in luxury. In line 1 he uses the word 'beggars', which makes the reader think of terrible conditions, sleeping rough, disease, poverty and rags, the general things which are associated with homeless people. He also goes on and shows his brigade's condition is not like what would be expected for a 'hero'. In line 2 he calls him and his brigade 'hags' which instantly banishes thought of velvet uniforms and shiny swords like Charge of the Light Brigade. Instead it brings in thoughts of disease, rats and poverty. Owen from the outset of the poem shows this isn't going to be a romantic charge. He describes the conditions in which his brigade is walking in as 'sludge', line 2. This is good because it banishes from the reader's mind a heroic and conquering army, and instead shows one wandering through a place likened to a sewer. This idea of no gallant charges is enforced in line 5, where Owen describes them as 'marching asleep'. This shows the reader that this army is tired and sleepy and not ready to charge through enemy lines like 'the Charge of the Light Brigade'. Of course Owen is also saying that the soldier's outward appearance is shattered as well as their inward. He does this in line 5 where he says 'many had lost their boots'. Not only does this show the reader that the men are really in a poor state, but it also enforces the idea of how different this is to the pristine uniforms of the 'Light Brigade'. We can also gather ourselves from the poem the fact that walking around without boots in damp, icy, slippery, rat infested trenches will give you painful infections like athlete's foot if you're lucky and more serious conditions such as frostbite if you're not so lucky. The true nature of not giving up and carrying on fighting, whatever your injury is shown by Owen in line 6 ' but men limped on blood shod'. This is good as it makes the reader understand that the romanticising of war is completely different from real life. Another idea which is visible in 'Dulce et Decorum est', but is practically invisible in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', is what will happen to the soldiers after their battles are done. In this poem, in line 6 Owen says that 'all [the soldiers] went lame, all blind'. This shows the reader that the consequences of signing up for armed combat are much more far reaching than what just happens on the battlefield: you could be maimed for life, or go blind. As I mentioned in my introductory paragraph for this poem, times have changed and weapons have evolved. Killing is no longer done with gold sabres and silver cannons. Now 'gas' line 9 is used frequently. The reader will find out war is no longer a heroic charge but a long, exhausting campaign that you have look over your shoulder, continuously for a shell with poison gas inside. Again tying in with the fact that war has far reaching consequences, we see that simply seeing your comrade's die in front of you is enough to give you psychological problems. For instance, in line 15 Owen says 'in all my dreams, before my helpless sight, he plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. Often soldiers who saw this kind of thing and were badly affected by it were sent to sanatoriums where trained army psychologists would help them get over it. Certainly nothing like this is seen in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. This is very effective piece of ammunition to use in Owens's fight against romantic ideas of war which are so far from the truth. Owen definitely is not a romantic because in his poem he provides many graphic representations which Tennyson did not. For example in line 19 he says that one of the injured soldiers had 'white eyes writhing in his face'. Owen has got to the point and hasn't dilly dallied about going on about heroics; he has got to the point and expressed his view. Again this is good as it describes the reality of getting injured in a war to the reader, and it doesn't seem very nice or heroic. Owens's view of how horribly painful war is for the soldiers is expressed and strengthened in line 22 where he describes the injured soldier as having 'froth corrupted lungs'. This will help the reader find out that the young soldiers didn't die heroically but more like horribly. If we probe a little under the surface, the word 'corrupted' could be used by Owen in a political sense and not just medical. He could be talking about how young men are corrupted by snazzy, persuasive recruitment posters, back in their homeland. According to Owen the root of the 'war is glorious' problem is traced back to childhood. In lines 25 and 26 he says 'my friend you would not tell with such high zest, to children ardent for some desperate glory'. This is good as it makes the reader think back into their own past and childhood and think of any war related triumphs or games they may have done or played. It could also be referring to the soldiers being young and naïve and the recruitment posters gradually selling them these lies, in the hope that they will join up and think they are heroes. Finally in the last line of the poem goes as far as to say that dying as a hero and dying for honour in battle are downright lies. In lines 27 and 28 he says 'the old Lie: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori'. This phrase means 'it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country' and was first used by the Roman playwright Horace thousands of years ago. It is still quoted by military leaders today in basic training and before battles. I think Owens's view on this phrase is that it is very dangerous and should not be told especially to 'desperate and impressionable children'. This point of view is a hundred percent different to Tennyson's and I need not explain why. I like this poem not only as a piece of good poetry like 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' but also its morals and the poet's beliefs are that of mine unlike 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. It is very effective in carrying across its message of war being bad and not being honourable to die in one. It shows you that the poet thinks young men are lured into war by generals who just sit on the sidelines and will die healthily in their sleep decades after the war. It shows us what happens to the ordinary men who join up, their expectations from childhood and the real thing. This poem has also made me understand something I wondered about before reading it: why there are people whose jobs are army psychologists and why there are buildings used by the military called sanatoriums. As I come to the end of my essay I've learnt two very important points of view that were used in the past. Firstly about the chivalrous Romantic era on which countless war movies have such ideas in. Honour and fighting till the end whatever the outcome are the main ideas. This will certainly appeal to people who want to hold that point of view but for a realist like me I see through the flashing sabres and the valley of death and see butchered men and mourning families at home. Tennyson never incorporates that in his poem. Secondly I come to the deeply dark and realist first hand views of Owen who explains to me the real story and no beating about the bush. His views are crystal and have made me think rather than the non human termed, honour for our land thoughts of Tennyson. Owen actually made me think about the men being the uniforms. To sum up I like both poems very much but it's clear to me what's real and what's not, what's about human beings and not 'soldiers' and all the word suggests brave, never sick, willing to die and finally what's moral to me as a human and what's not.   

In 1798 a new era began in English poetry called the Romantic age. This age provoked the thinking of new radical ideas and thoughts and the writing of these ideas in poems. The poets included Samuel T Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson and William Wordsworth. Some of their ideas and...

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Ted Hughes famously quoted "What excites...Ted Hughes famously quoted "What excites my imagination is the war between vitality and death". This is a key factor in the effectiveness of nearly all of Hughes' early work - the stark contrast between life and death, vitality and lethargy. In poems such as "The Jaguar", "Roarers in a Ring" and "Six Young Men", there is a severe and often brutally sudden transition between the two extremes. I found all of these poems, particularly "The Jaguar", intriguing and enthralling; the respect that Hughes has for animals and humans who live their lives to the full is admirably enormous. In "The Jaguar", the poet describes his disregard for the majority of the animals in the zoo he visits because they have accepted captivity and surrendered to a life free from care, excitement and interest. Most of the animals have lost the magic of their natural instincts. He disdainfully describes them with words like "indolence" and "sloth" and uses the simile "like cheap tarts" to describe the parrots. This insinuates that they are willing to "strut" and show off to anyone, as they have lost any sense of pride and self worth they once had. However, there is one creature that excites and captivates the crowds, and as the title of the poem suggests, has also left a lasting impact on Hughes. Instead of lazing around idly, the sleek black Jaguar "spins from the bars" and "hurries enraged". Despite being deprived of his natural environment and his freedom, the Jaguar is full of movement, actively bursting with power and energy. Hughes is markedly enthralled by the way that the Jaguar seems to create his own space, even within the confinement of his cage "“ describing the creature as having the world rolling "under the long thrust of his heel". Hughes uses powerful and potent images such as "the drills of his eyes" and "the prison darkness" to make the poem come alive. The poem has an underlining high regard for the Jaguar; it is clear he retains his sense of dignity and power and is still very much a wild beast. He has certainly not accepted his life in captivity. Hughes accentuates the difference between the Jaguar and the other animals by describing the reactions of the crowd, who stare mesmerised at the Jaguar "as a child at a dream". This simile is effective as it creates a real sense of awe and amazement; children cannot often be captivated so strongly, suggesting the subject is something truly incredible. Contrarily, he implies that the majority of the cages contain nothing but "sleeping straw", and visitors tend to rush past such animals without even noticing their existence. As well as the movements of the crowds, the difference between lively and lethargic is very much highlighted by the metaphorical language used. The curl of a snakes body is described as a fossil "“ not only appropriate because of the coiled shape but also because it gives the impression of being very old and in a state of inertia. Similarly, the apes are of no interest to the crowds because their only motions are idle actions to pass the time; they merely "yawn and adore their fleas in the sun". To my surprise, even the tigers and the lions are too "fatigued with indolence" to excite an audience. The simile "still as the sun" demonstrates the arrogance and immovability of the Lions, and also illustrates their colour. All these static, lazy images are countered by the rage, strength and ferocity of the Jaguar who does not limit his spirit to the boundaries of his cage. The pace and rhythm of the poem is quite fast with short sharp words, often monosyllable to stress the simplicity of the trouble-free animals. In contrast, the pace slows down in the third verse when talking about the Jaguar, with considerably longer sentences and words such as 'mesmerised'. "Roarers in a Ring" is a more subtle observation, in the form of a narrative. It is Christmas Eve and a group of farmers are attempting to conceal their sorrow with alcohol and false laughter. The situation the poet describes is immediately identifiable, making it all the more hard-hitting. The poem begins on a cold note, describing a starving fox - a symbol of the harsh realities of nature and death. Descriptions like "The moor foamed like a white running sea" create an atmosphere that is bleak, cold and uninviting. In the second verse the farmers huddle around a fire, which instead of sounding cosy, sounds as if they are hiding from the outside world. Later, it is suggested that their unceasing laughter is not genuine but is like a ball being tossed in the air. Instead of actually being happy they are forcing themselves to laugh because there is nothing else they can do, and ultimately because they are afraid. The poet talks as if he is watching them and says, "You would have thought that if they did not laugh, they must weep". He is saying that they are scared to drop the pretence of joviality, as they don't want to face the prospect of sober misery. Thinking rather than laughing loudly means they must realise what their fate is "“ "lest silence drink blood". In contrast to the way they toss laughter, and their lives up, towards the end of the poem there is a strong feeling of downward movement, with lines like "bottomless black silence through which it fell" and "blindly, rowdily balanced, took their fall". Despite their apparent liveliness, there is a constant undertone of sorrow. In the sixth verse the poet depicts how the farmer's "grand bellies shook" and then suddenly the line "Oh their flesh would drop to dust at the first sober look". This cruelly reminds the reader how vulnerable and weak they are compared to the sharpness of the "air new as a razor" and the power of the moor and the world in general. The poem draws to an end with the deaths of the farmers, and pointedly closes with the insignificance of this; as the world "went whirling still" "“ it carries on unchanged by their absence. Another of Ted Hughes' poems entitled "Six Young Men" displays a more direct change from descriptions of the life and the men's enthusiasm to their tragic deaths in the First World War. The poem observes a photograph taken forty years ago which pictures the six men who died only months later. The men's expressions are timeless and although the men are very much dead, the photo is undoubtedly alive The men were at the peak of their lives and the contrast between their vigour and anticipation with the tragedy of their death is shocking. Hughes describes each of the young men in turn by how they looked in a photograph, their beautiful surroundings, their camaraderie and lust for life itself. However, at the end of each verse, a brief yet cuttingly effective line reminds the reader of the men's fate "“ "their faces are four decades under the ground" ends the second verse and "Forty years rotting into soil" ends the fourth. This pattern is repeated, as the poet touchingly recalls how their clothes would not be fashionable today, but at the time their shoes shone, which reflects their respectability. It also makes an alarming contrast as in life they had taken pride in their appearance but in death, they have spent forty years "rotting in the soil". There is a more detailed description of how the men died and Hughes reveals that he knew them and also the scene in the picture. It makes the reader wonder what relationship he was to them. I speculated whether he had lost all these friends in the war. Was he the one behind the lens who had taken the picture? The poem reflects on the passing of time, and it is states that nothing lasts. The tone of the poem is bitter but invariably becomes more softly spoken when Hughes is recalling memories of the men going on a "Sunday jaunt". He reflects on the irony of their lives and talks about the "mangled last agony" one of the men suffered in hospital, while for some "nobody knows what they came to". In the last verse, the poet claims that "six celluloid smiles" are no less alive than any man, but at the same no less dead than a prehistoric creature. Hughes feels very strongly about the photograph; it is a paradox, a contradiction that that they should be smiling, when with hindsight he sees too many reasons why they should not. Hughes remembers them twice "“ in death shot by rifle or trying to save a friend, and preserved in his cherished photograph which has not wrinkled their faces or hands, and they live in his memory, young forever. All of these poems touch on "the contrast between vitality and death", either comparing the two directly, or focusing mainly on one of them. It is obvious that Hughes found victory in the untamed will of the Jaguar, and admiration for the remarkable lust each of the "Six young men" had for life "“ whereas he scorned at the farmers who led pitiful, timid lives which ended as uneventfully as they had existed.   

Ted Hughes famously quoted "What excites my imagination is the war between vitality and death". This is a key factor in the effectiveness of nearly all of Hughes' early work - the stark contrast between life and death, vitality and lethargy. In poems such as "The Jaguar", "Roarers in a...

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