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An Essay Comparing "The Poison Tree" By William Blake To "The Soliloquy Of The Spanish Cloister" By Robert Browning: How The Poets Write About Bitterness And Hatred.

1379 words - 6 pages

Compare how the poets write about the emotions of bitterness and hatred. You should explore how they:* Use language, image and form* Create Distinctive characters for the speakersEach poem has a character known as "the speaker", the one who is supposedly writing the poem. Both of the poets for "The Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister" and "The poison Tree" have their speakers expressing their hatred and bitterness in different forms. In the Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister the speaker's hatred takes the form of envy. The speaker envies Brother Lawrence who is supposed to be a fellow monk of his and cannot express his bitterness and hatred through physical actions because he would be defying the law of God. His anger towards Brother Lawrence is converted into frustration as he feels Brother Lawrence is almost perfect - he tries to hide his jealousy by mocking Brother Lawrence: "What's the Latin name for "parsley"? What's the Greek name for Swine's Snout?"The speaker's anger in The Poison Tree is shown differently. We don't know the original source of the speaker's hatred and bitterness, but we know that it builds up over time - it is grown, bigger and bigger: "I watered it in fears, Night and morning with my tears: and I sunned it with smiles, and soft deceitful wiles". In the end, the greatness of his anger results in the death of his foe: "My foe outstretched beneath the tree".The anger of the speakers is different, in the way that the speaker in The Poison Tree causes the death of someone to show his anger. Whereas in the other poem the speaker tries to make his foe (Brother Lawrence) sin and tries to be better than Brother Lawrence.Another way that their anger is presented differently is the presentation and the specific layout of the poems. In The Poison Tree the poet uses a regular stanzaic structure. This contains and heightens the force of the speaker's emotions (bitterness and hatred). There is an almost hymn like structure to it which links in with the theme that is in both poems - Christian teachings, The Bible and God. The poem is impelled forward through the use of trochaic tetrameter (stronger syllables followed by light ones), quatrains (stanzas with four lines) of two couplets and strong close rhyme that is regular.The arrangement in The Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister is very much different to this with deep meanings behind it that relate well to the poem. Firstly, there are nine stanzas of eight verses which all contain doubling of quatrains. This suggests duplicity and hypocrisy on the speaker's behalf. The fact that there are nine stanzas imitates the presence of the corporal, the intellectual and the spiritual. These three factors protect Brother Lawrence from the sins that he makes caused by the speaker. Every alternate rhyming pair has a polysyllabic rhyme which illustrates and dramatises the speaker's comical irritability and frustration.Now I will move on to explore the effects of the bitterness and hatred on the speakers...

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