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Distinctive Voice In Carol Ann Duffy’s Anne Hathaway And The Laboratory By Robert Browning

893 words - 4 pages

Carol Ann Duffy’s poem ‘Anne Hathaway’ is about Anne Hathaway’s and Shakespeare’s love for each other and how great it is. Whereas is Robert Browning’s poem ‘The laboratory’ is about a woman who poisons the woman her lover’s sleeping with.

In ‘Anne Hathaway’s’ first lines the voice seems dreamy and passionate. Whereas, in ‘The laboratory’s’ the voice seems evil, keen and excited. ‘The bed we loved in was a spinning world of forests, castles, torchlight, cliff tops, seas where we could dive for pearls.’ Using the world ‘loved’ instead of ‘slept’ creates connotations of passion, love and as if their love was above everyone else’s. Also, when she writes ‘spinning world’ it gives connotations of excitement and as if their relationship was a whirl word but fun. Finally, the list of places written down don’t only create a sense of adventure but they are places all used in Shakespeare’s plays which makes you think the she was really interested in him and what he did.

‘Now that I tying this glass mask tightly, May gaze thro’ these faint smokes curling whitely, as thou pliest trade in this devil’s smithy- Which is the poison to poison her prithee?’ Unlike in ‘Anne Hathaway’ the first lines of ‘The Laboratory’ create an evil, keen and excited voice. When he writes ‘Which is the poison to poison her prithee?’ it makes you think it would be said in a fast pace because of the three P’s. Also, it sounds a bit like a chant which creates excitement. Finally, because she is asking questions to the Chemist it makes you think she’s eager and interested in the poison, unlike in ‘Anne Hathaway’ where she’s only interested in where Shakespeare is and what he does.

In ‘Anne Hathaway’ the voice of the poem seems as if Anne Hathaway was deeply in love with Shakespeare which is shown through the imagery. But in ‘The Laboratory’ the voice of the poem seems evil and psychotic. In ‘Anne Hathaway’ she writes ‘My lover’s words were shooting stars which feel to the Earth as kisses.’ She seems really passionate and in love. Using the word ‘kisses’ brings images of love and passion. So by comparing them to words makes you think that everything in their relationship was passionate and loving if even their words were. Also, when she writes ‘My body, now a softer rhyme to his, now echo, assonance; his touch a verb dancing in the centre of a noun.’ Duffy uses assonance on the words; body, softer, echo, assonance, touch and noun to portray their love as gentle and loving. This...

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