Compare And Contrast Alfred Lord Tennyson’s ‘The Kraken’ And Lewis Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky’ And The Way They Represent Their Monsters

846 words - 4 pages

Both Alfred Lord Tennyson’s ‘The Kraken’ and Lewis Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky’ are poems concerning fictional monsters. ‘Jabberwocky’ by Carroll first appeared in ‘Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There’ and concerns a young man’s attempt to slay a monster called the Jabberwocky. Tennyson’s ‘The Kraken’ is based on a Norse myth of a legendary monster that sleeps beneath the ocean. Both poems obviously share a similar theme. Yet differ in their format, syntax and use of poetic devices, these contrasts contribute to a very different representation of both monsters.

The first notable contrast in how both poets represents their monsters is through the use of language in each poem. The ...view middle of the document...

However, ‘The Kraken’ does not follow a traditional formula, meter or rhythm. Whilst it is based on the Petrarchan Sonnet (Osbourne, Kissel. in Gradesaver 2013), ‘The Kraken’ includes an additional line and uses an irregular rhyming scheme. This along with Tennyson’s use of enjambment throughout and caesura (2.2) in the second line of the poem create a feeling of discord or uneasiness for the reader in order to build further tension around his monster.

One of the most interesting contrasts is how both poets represent their monsters within the poem. Despite being told to ‘beware’ the Jabberwocky in the second stanza of Carroll’s poem he is not alluded to being any more fearsome or dangerous than either Carroll’s Jubjub bird or Bandersnatch. Despite the creature’s infamy, the poem’s protagonist manages to dispatch him in a single stanza. Furthermore, the repetition of the first stanza at the end of the poem suggests that despite the defeat of the Jabberwocky, his death has no impact on the rest of the world as everything continues as it had before.

This is in sharp contrast to Tennyson’s Kraken, which slumbers until Judgement day at which point it will rise up from the abyss to die attracting the attention of both men and angels. Tennyson’s monster is so large, so old that his rise to the surface of the ocean cannot go unnoticed by mankind or indeed even angels (2.14).

Despite the similar theme, both poets represent their monsters in startlingly different ways. Carroll uses nonsense...

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