Sonnet 116 – William Shakespeare: Poem Analysis

Theme: Love & Loyalty Type: Sonnet Background Shakespeare is Britain’s most famous poet/playwright Sonnet suggests that love is forever -this didn’t conform with the idea of the time – instead of obedience/subservience it focuses on faithfulness, forgiveness and equality Language Compares (simile) love to the North Star – eternal and unchanging Paradox – he says…

La Belle Dame sans Merci: a Ballad – John Keats Poem Analysis

Theme: Love (obsessive, the enchantment of being in love rather then enduring love), Death, Abandonment, Sad/sentimental Type: Ballad Background Written by John Keats – one of the Romantic poets The title means “the beautiful lady without pity” Sees a knight on the verge of death because of his romantic encounter – showing the dangers of…

A Mother in a Refugee Camp – Chinua Achebe: Poem Analysis

Themes: Death/Human Suffering, Parent/child, Courage, Religious Imagery, Vivid Imagery Type: Blank Verse Form – 2 stanzas – different lengths – lines aren’t long – clearly explains with simple meanings Background Written by Chinua Achebe This is a heartbreaking poem about a young mother in a refugee camp and her devotion to her dying child Language…

War Photographer – Carol Ann Duffy: Poem Analysis

Themes: War, Death/Human Suffering, Vivid language/imagery, Religious Imagery Type: Regular form Background Written by Carol Ann Duffy – first female Poet Laureate Poem explores the differences between Rural England and a warzone The photographer doesn’t feel at home in the warzone – “impassively” “where he earns his living” – but doesn’t feel at home in…

My Last Duchess – Robert Browning: Poem Analysis

Themes: Marriage/Love, Men seeing women as possessions, Jealousy, Madness, Power Type: Dramatic Monologue/ Rhyming Couplets Background Written by Robert Browning Inspiration for the poem was Alfonso II whose wife died of suspicious circumstances Lucrezia was a Medici “Didn’t have a nine-hundred-year-old name” Power Fictional speech by a Renaissance Duke who is conducting a marriage negotiation…

Do not go Gentle into that Good Night – Dylan Thomas: Poem Analysis

Themes: Death Type: Villanelle Background Written by Dylan Thomas when his father was dying, and the poem is addressed to him It is a vigorous, impassioned diatribe against the inevitability of death The poet is encouraging his father to fight against death with all this strength Describes valiant and praiseworthy behaviour of different kinds of…

If – Rudyard Kipling: Poem Analysis

Themes            Inspirational/ Motivational/ Aspirations Type                 Dramatic Monologue Links               Mother in a Refugee Camp – Courage                         Do Not Go Gentle – Courage/exhortation (encourage to fight)                         My Last Duchess – Dramatic Monologue Background Written by Rudyard Kipling and was awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature Work based on his knowledge of the Middle East The…

Hamlet and Gertrude’s Relationship in Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’

Shakespeare presents Hamlet’s and Gertrude’s relationship as a crucial factor for the plot of the play. Gertrude is vital in fuelling Hamlet’s hatred of women as well as his drive for revenge. Her remarriage also causes Hamlet to sink into melancholy as Bradley states it provided a ‘violent shock to his moral being’. Gertrude’s remarriage…