poem compare and contrast essay example

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Poem compare and contrast essay example

Secondly, you know if somebody already made the allegations you are going to make so that you can avoid being accused of plagiarism. The easiest way to look for information is to use online academic databases and search engines Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic are the most common multidisciplinary ones.

There are plenty of resources on poetry as well. The first thing to do when comparing two poems is to prepare a list of all the obvious and subtle similarities they have. The combination thereof may even play a pivotal role in your analysis — for example, your comparison may be built around the fact that the two poems in question do not have anything in common at the first glance, but if you study them more attentively you can discover multiple underlying similarities.

Some things to pay attention at this stage are:. Use a Venn diagram if it is easier for you to process visual information. A compare and contrast essay is not just a list of similarities and differences between the two pieces of poetry. Your comparative analysis should pursue a goal or to come to a conclusion — and it is expressed in a thesis statement.

A thesis statement is the core idea of your essay in a condensed form — ideally, in a single mid-length sentence up to words. It should have the following features:. The analysis of literary devices is bread and butter of anybody trying to draw parallels and contrasts between poetic works. They are important in prose as well, but poetry is just as much about form as it is about content, which makes structural analysis all the more important.

Even if two poems have little in common with each other, you can look for similarities in the types of literary devices they use and the ways they are applied. When you compare two poetic works, you should give both of them relatively equal amount of attention unless you deliberately use one of them as a context or a backdrop for the analysis of the other one. Inexperienced authors understand this as a requirement to jump back and forth between the two texts every couple of sentences, often turning their essays into confusing, incomprehensible mess as a result.

An alternative is to follow a pre-determined structure: One Poem at a Time Give full analysis of one poem, then move on to the next. Thus, you will be able to concentrate on one thing at a time and study it in detail without getting distracted. However, it is easy to forgo comparison entirely and turn your essay into two independent analyses of two poems. One Element at a Time Switch between poems every paragraph.

For example, the first paragraph discusses stylistic devices in poem A, the second paragraph covers them in poem B, the third paragraph speaks about the mood in poem A and so on. The advantage of this approach is that it is easy to structure for you and to follow for the reader. Until you prove something, it remains your conjecture. When analyzing poetry, you should at least provide quotes from the poems and critical works by other writers.

Use at least one piece of evidence per paragraph. It is not uncommon to steer away from your original topic in the process of writing an essay. If you found yourself guilty of it, make the necessary corrections before proceeding to the next stage.

Do not trust Microsoft Word spellchecker — it only notices the most basic of mistakes. Use other, more specialized tools instead. However, trust them just a little bit more, because they are still very limited and cannot replace a real proofreader. Poetry especially works by earlier authors often uses uncommon words and expressions. When you analyze a work, you should make sure you understand what it speaks about.

If you have a slightest doubt about the meaning of any word, look it up in a dictionary, especially if you use it in your own argument. Before you move on to proofreading, check if everything is all right with logic, style, focus, organization and the general flow of your essay. Read the text aloud, slowly and paying attention to every sentence. Give it to somebody else to read and ask if you managed to drive your point home effectively.

Read your essay several times over, with each pass paying attention to a single type of mistakes. This will prevent you from scattering your attention. Reread it once again, paying attention to the content and meaning. When making corrections on the level of individual words and sentences, it is possible to introduce changes that disrupt the general flow of text. Of course, writing an in-depth comparative analysis of two or more poetic works is a difficult, complicated and sophisticated task.

However, with a detailed plan in front of you, you do not need much in terms of experience to successfully deal with it. Writing Guide. Other paper types. Social Sciences. Business and administrative studies.

Natural Sciences. Formal Sciences. How do the poets differ in their approach to relationships? Compare 4 poems , 2 of which are from your anthology and 2 from the list to explore the meaning of war as portrayed by each poet. Explore attitudes to conflict in the poem Futility by Wilfred Owen with one other of your choice.

So, having made sure what the question wants from you, the first thing you have to do when comparing poems is to read each poem through carefully in order to understand the general meaning of what the poet is trying to say. Once you have read and annotated each poem the next step is to think about an introduction for your essay.

This second choice, in contrast, is a longer poem, again with two stanzas, but is in free verse unlike Owen's which has hints of rhyme and half rhyme. Both men were killed in action during the war and their poems give differing accounts of the horror and reality of war, the major theme. The third poem, How To Kill by Keith Douglas , provides a dream-like perspective on the process of killing.

This poem offers a powerful, alternative voice whereas the final poem, Grass by Carl Sandburg, gives an unusual overview of the victims of war. Use of comparative words such as Quotes from the poem. These should be embedded smoothly into your essay but don't use too many. Your essay should be written clearly, with no grammatical errors. Integrate your comments throughout each paragraph, don't write about poem A then poem B.

Your conclusion is a summing up of the poems, your ideas on what works and does not, the key similarities and differences and your grasp of the concepts behind the meanings. A thesis statement is a short yet concise paragraph that sets out an argument, analysis or idea and sums up what your essay will be concentrating on.

So you may choose analysis, explanation or argument for the statement - how will you approach the poems and what do you want to say in your essay? Thesis Statement - An analysis of the two poems reveals that both urge the individual to not waste Time, one emphasising the sexual drive in humans, the other the aesthetic. The essay should then go on to give details of the analysis with particular reference to poetic devices used, mode of expression and the success or not of the poem as a whole.

Let's say you have four poems to compare and contrast. From previous, they're all about war. So we have:. There is a quiet seriousness about the opening lines, reflecting the care that must be taken with the soldier's body. Mention of the sun puts us firmly in daylight but hints at something greater - life itself.

Conversely Rosenberg's poem has an arbitrary number of lines - 25 reflecting his young age? You could say Futility has an inward, philosophical approach to this individual's death whereas Louse Hunting has drama, humour and metaphor to bring an ordinary event on to the awful stage of war. Again you are looking to connect the question with your comparisons before moving on to more detailed comments about the poetry.

Remember to place quotes in appropriate places and use clear straightforward language at all times. Keith Douglas's poem of four 6 line stanzas, How To Kill , looks somewhat formal beside Carl Sandburg's free verse announcement of a poem, Grass. Both are written in first person and concentrate on the idea of war deaths.

The former has an interesting half rhyme scheme of abccba which suggests a situation that doesn't quite suit the voice of the poem. A tiny change of vowel means the rhyme is skewed. For example, ball-kill, man-Open, long-sang all appear in the first stanza. Perhaps the poem indicates confusion, something not quite right. Grass on the other hand couldn't be more direct, even brutal, and yet also has surreal tones. For example, note the two opening lines:.

This is the actual grass speaking. I am the grass; I cover all implies that once the masses of bodies are buried nature takes over, the dead are forgotten, becoming nothing more than 'work' for the grass.

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The overall theme here is that the state of the soul is more important than past physical sins. The themes are again different, but by looking at them both separately one can see that they are both metaphysical themes. He is asking the reader to view typical themes of love and God from a new viewpoint in Holy Sonnet VI for example, he is asking God to change the way he is judging people!

Even though the themes themselves are different, both themes can be described as being metaphysical. In the poem Song John Donne opens the first line in a conversational manner, writing the entire poem as one narrative sequence. He writes the poem as half of a conversation with his speech answering the questions of his lover. In the second stanza he uses imagery to compare himself to the sun. He then offers the reader a metaphor in the first two lines of this stanza: he compares the return of the sun everyday to the sky with his own faithful return to his lover.

In the fourth line he uses a hyperbole when he exaggerates by declaring that even the sun doesn t have as good a reason to leave her as he does. In the third line of the fourth verse John Donne uses a typical metaphysical feature, a dichotomy or paradox, when he writes unkindly kinde.. These two words clearly contradict each other because one cannot literally be kind in an unkind way.

But in the context of the poem they make sense and show how John Donne feels about his lover s crying he doesn t want her to weep at their separation unkind , but is still slightly touched by her true tears kind. In the next line he uses a symbol by stating that his blood doth decay..

One can understand the blood to relate to his heart, a common symbol of love. John Donne uses a common rhyme scheme of ababcddc throughout the five stanzas, meaning that it is all one idea linked together. Also, the constant rhyme scheme is practical because the poem is meant as a song, which is evident when one looks at the title, Song. It will be more melodious and easier to sing with such a rhyme scheme.

He begins the poem by comparing his life to an ending play, which he means as the end of his spiritual journey. In the second line he compares his life to a pilgrimage, which is the end of his physical journey. He continues this metaphor in the third line by comparing his life to a running race, which shows his final journey: his soul ascending to God. In the sixth line, Mr.

Donne uses a symbol by writing sleep.. He uses sleep to mean death, again continuing his metaphor of physical endings to his life. In the seventh and eight lines John Donne uses another dichotomy, when he first states that he is not scared of God, and then contradicts it by saying shakes my every..

Finally, in the twelfth line, John Donne uses a metaphor to explain death as a return to the ground, a final comparison to physical death. He uses a rhyme scheme of abba abba cdcd ee in this poem, and only one stanza. This is because the poem is a Petrarchan Sonnet.

This type of sonnet is very common in his time. He uses the first eight lines to describe the setting of the sonnet, and the last six lines to explain the theme. Also, the first two quatrains of the sonnet have identical rhyme schemes abba and the sonnet ends with a rhyming couplet ee.

Finally, John Donne uses a colon to separate the setting from the theme after line eight, and ends the sonnet with a period after line fourteen. I think that the style John Donne uses in these two poems is similar. He uses paradoxes in both poems, which is very typical of a metaphysical poet. He also uses metaphors in both cases, another metaphysical attribute.

His use of symbols in the two poems is also a constant feature. However, the stanza structure and rhyme scheme differ totally. I think that John Donne s writing style and use of literary techniques between these two poems is quite similar. I found the tone of Song to be relaxed and quite witty.

He uses only one explanation mark, and not very strong language. The mood that comes across to me from the poem is soothing, but also convincing enough that I could imagine his lover to have let him go on his journey. I have this feeling because of all the requests John Donne makes of God. This leaves me with a tense impression of the mood.

Also, he uses some powerful imagery like Whose feare already shakes my every.. This relays a tense mood to me. I think that the moods in these two poems are different, and I think that neither truly follows a typical metaphysical mood. As I expected, John Donne s poetry is different when comparing his early works to those he wrote later in his life.

I found evidence to support this by comparing and contrasting the topics and settings, which were completely different. Then I looked at the themes, both being metaphysical, but dissimilar. Donne s stylistic features were examined next and found to be quite similar. Compare and contrast Seamus Heaney, a poet with two children's themes. These reflect Heiny's feelings about the various aspects of life around him. This is one reason why I chose these two verses.

When comparing the two poems, be aware of similarities and differences between themes, tones, images, and languages. By contrasting the two writers' verses, we can show how poets use different ways to get their point of view. Or you can compare and contrast poetry of different writers. Love, death, courage, etc. For example, you can compare the theme of the epic "Beowulf" with the theme of "The Odyssey" of Homer.

These two poems are similar. Because they all contain the theme of courage, honor, loyalty, enthusiasm, and responsibility. However, Beowulf also includes topics on revenge and tribal loyalties, but "The Odyssey" includes topics on free will. In a similar project in the future, consider comparing and comparing formal poetry with free verses. You can compare the different elements in each poem. In addition, you can compare the same elements used in each verse, such as rhymes.


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Ben Jonson joined the theatrical company of Philip Henslow as an actor and a playwright at around This was declared seditious by the authorities. A year later Jonson killed a fellow actor. His name was Gabriel Spencer. Jonson killed him in a duel in the Fields at Shoreditch. He started his education at a church missionary society school.

He graduated from University College, Ibadan, in Then, he worked for over ten years for the Nigerian Broadcasting Company. He left the N. Achebe played a significant role in the development of the Heinemann African Writers Series, a series which has given many Africans a voice in the western world and which, outside of Africa, publishes more African and Caribbean writers than any other publishing house. Hi there, would you like to get such an essay?

How about receiving a customized one? Check it out goo. Compare and contrast the 2 poems Essay. Choose Type of service Writing Rewriting Editing. Standard Standard quality. Bachelor's or higher degree. Master's or higher degree. Over 30 successfully finished orders. Page count 1 page words. Related Essays. The use of alliteration covers all the poem along with the use of metaphor and personification as well.

There is strong irony all over the poem as well, which serves the allegorical meaning of the poem. The poet shows what happens to the soldiers. The soldiers who appear in the first stanza to be serving their goal and holy duty with high devotion, are another kind of soldiers in the second stanza. They are seeing things for what they really are. And things are not what they appeared to be.

The soldiers realize that the ideal is what they miss because their holy duty is not so holy after all. The cost of human lives and all the disastrous effects of the war make them wander on what the real holy duty is really about. The irony is used very cleverly on behalf of the poet who resembles the transportation to the office by train to a dream.

How dreamful could commuting to work be? However, this is what the poet states. This is a dream. And this is why this war proves out to be one of the worst mistakes in the human history. Sassoon himself had served in the First World War. His own experiences as an English soldier who fought in the battlefield of France are said to have been the inspiration for this poem.

Sassoon fought under very heavy and brutal circumstances and he finally managed to survive a heavy fire and save his own life. But he certainly witnessed the death of lots of his comrades. He was awarded a medal because of his heroic action to save one of his wounded comrades during one of the fights in which he had taken part.

Nevertheless, it is obvious that his poetry is written on his behalf in such a way that the terror and ugliness of the war is shown to people. He appears to be treating the war and the commitment of all those who were carried into it, a bit ironically. Since he shows how everything ordinary, simple and meaningful turned into a dream in the battlefield, he manages to show that the brutality of this war is so intense.

Sassoon shows that even the simplest things are automatically turned into the best dreams ever, which can be the reasons why one ought to keep on living and fight on an everyday basis, in the name of the completion of his personal goals. He has not shared the same fate with Sassoon thought in terms of his life duration. He was killed in a battle in June He served with the 9th Battalion in the Region of Devonshire and he was killed in the Battle of the Somme. The poem is the psychological portrait of a soldier.

In addition, here the soldier is the poet himself. It is the prayer of a soldier, the poet himself, towards God. So, Hodgson addresses his Lord and hopes for something to happen. He wants to become a Soldier. But the intriguing question arises. Since he is there, in the battlefield and he is preparing to take part in a battle which is about to begin in any minute, why is he praying to be made a soldier by God?

This is the intriguing question which is serving the main goal of the poet. The thematic core of the poem is the lust of the soldier to serve his duty the best way he can. The soldier seems eager to serve his duty. He appears to have been admiring the beauty of nature and the poet uses a very powerful, full of lyricism language to describe the natural surroundings in which he has found himself.

The poet is not looking at anything bad or ugly. He looks at this beauty which is surrounding him and he is thinking that this is how his life has been up to now. All the days he has lived seem to have been lived within the borders of an overwhelming beauty. This beauty of nature calms readers and provides them with a sense of calmness and safety.

The poem becomes even more interesting in its second stanza. He addresses his Lord once more and now he asks him to be given the gift of being a Man. Yes, he is but he wants to make sure that he will keep on being a man, now that the real action of the battle is about to take place. The last stanza is the ultimate hymn to the splendor and the glory of this war in which the poet has decided to take part. The poet seems to be aware of the fate which is awaiting for him in his imminent future.

Both protagonists of both poems seem to be consciously aware of what is awaiting for them in the corner. They have taken part in a deadly war so the most possible thing to happen to them is their death. But there is a major contrast between the two poems. The reason is not their fear of it. The real reason is the fact that they have managed to finally see the brutality of the war for what it really is.

So, they have realized that this war does not worth their death. They have realized a global, modern and worldwide acknowledged belief. No people should be threatened in any way so as to result in using war and its cruelty as a method in order to manage and gain what they wish or even what they are entitled to. People ought to have realized that in a war, there are always defeats and no real victories.

This is what Sassoon seems to wish to focus on. But this is not what wars have finally turned out to be about. And this is what Sassoon highlights in a very effective way since he manages to show the inversion of the same persons within his two stanzas.

It only took them two stanzas in order to manage and see the brutality of the war and its disastrous power. He prays to God to help him be a Man and fight even better, reaching perfection in the battlefield. Why is this? Because the beauty of nature is seen as the perfect place to end his life. He wants to die and he thinks that this is the ultimate beauty he could ever live.

The War seems beautiful to his eyes. This is not because he likes death. But this is because he loves to die for a holy cause. The soldier of the poem by Hodgson ends his prayer by asking God to help him die in the battlefield. He is convinced that he ought to say goodbye to the beauty of the nature around him. As much as he loves watching the mystery of nature and its beauty, he also loves dying in the name of his holy ideal, his being brave in the battlefield. The soldier of Hodgson wants to sacrifice himself.

He has found the reason why one ought to sacrifice his life. Although life is considered to be the ultimate gift which human beings are provided with, there seems to be an even greater gift which appears to be possible to be given by God as well. He wishes to be given the gift to die while performing his heroism.

The poet appears to be making his farewell to everything alive around him. It could be argued that the poet has realized that he is about to die. He appears to have suspected of his forthcoming death and this is why he seems so obsessed with saying goodbye to nature and life on earth.

Hodgson uses a number of various poetic devices like Sassoon, in order to make his message clear. All the poetic appliances which are applied on his behalf serve his goal more than efficiently and they manage to give to this poem a unique voice. Readers feel like they have Hodgson in front of them today.

It is as if readers feel that they have a young man standing in front of them, conquered by his passion to be a perfect soldier. They read this poem and they feel that they are listening to the monologue of that young soldier who lost his life at the age of The Rhyme of the poem is one of the literary devices applied by Hodgson.

The use of metaphor and personification is also very vivid. Years are personified and are presented to be laughing like happy, careless people are used to doing. So, the life which the soldier has had up to now, has always been a happy life, filled with laughters, no matter the problems.

Special attention ought to be paid to the tone of this poem. There is not one stable tone all over the poem. Although the poet makes it clear that there is no better thing than his own death in the glorious battlefield, there is always the benefit of a doubt. There has been lots of speculation whether the poet was determined and certain that his death was the best thing to happen to him or not.

The way the rhetorical indirect question addressed to God in his last verse of his last stanza, shows that something else may also be going on. The poet could ask for his death in the name of his bravery. But there is another reason why the poet wishes to die.

It may be the sympathy towards all his comrades who keep on losing their lives. So, the poet asks the Lord to help him die, so that he has an alternative in order to find the best way to deal with the loss of his friends. As a result, the tone of the poem seems happy, lyrical, enthusiastic and romantic whereas there are some moments when the readers may feel that the tone of the poem changes once more into something sadder.

Repetition is also vivid and it is used all over the poem. It is clear that both poems share their similarities in terms of their lyricism and poetic devices as well as their passion in putting across their message. But these two poems are totally contradictory in terms of their message and their meaning. Sassoon appears to have been disgusted by the ugliness of the war and writes this poem so as to inform people on what really went on in the First World War.

The soldiers themselves who took part in the war realized that they should never have taken part in that war. On the contrary, Hodgson seems to be the romantic, idealistic person who keeps on believing in the value of a fight. He is convinced that that war was his holy duty and there was no moment that he felt the slightest regret for his fighting in that war. New Delhi: Gnosis, pp. We accept sample papers from students via the submission form.

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Type of Paper. Essay Topics. Educational Tools. The Soldier. World War 1. Bachelor's Degree. Siegfried Sassoon. Accessed 23 July February Accessed July 23, Retrieved July 23, Free Essay Examples - WowEssays. Published Feb 28, Share with friends using:.

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How to Write a Compare & Contrast Essay in Poetry: the Guide to Successful Writing · 1. Make Sure the Subjects of Comparison Are Similar Enough · 2. Study the. Compare/Contrast essays take two topics and illustrate how they are similar and dissimilar. Do not mention Poem 2 in this first portion. Use an effective. sum up your thoughts on ways in which the poems are similar and different in your conclusion. Example question. Compare the two poems about family relationships.