Please critique my English Lit Poetry essay

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phanson1
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#1
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#1
Target grade 8 (low A*).

Compare how power is shown in Ozymandias and one other poem from the Power and Conflict section.

The idea of power is presented in both Ozymandias and My Last Duchess through themes of control. In ‘Ozymandias’, the pharaoh's control is expressed through the use of harsh-sounding alliteration in the phrase ‘sneer of cold command’. The use of this device works to foreground his cruelty, and, when combined with the noun ‘sneer’, it evokes the image of a dismissive and disrespectful ruler. This begins to prove his unadulterated control over his subjects to the reader, highlighting the lack of basic morality in his nature. The Duke also exhibits his control during ‘My Last Duchess’, most notably during a parenthetical aside, in which he says ‘none puts by the curtain I have drawn for you’. This suggests that he alone controls access to his late wife’s portrait, showing that his dominance over his wife is still in effect posthumously. This has an effect on the reader that is not unlike the effect of ‘Ozymandias’: it emphasises the repulsive nature of men in power. This is perhaps a commentary on Victorian men during this period, as although ‘My Last Duchess’ was set in the Italian Renaissance, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the poet’s wife, is known for her dislike of stereotypical Victorian men and their attitudes towards women, and this could have influenced the views of her husband, who she regarded a kindred spirit.
Themes of power are also shown in both poems through the use of form. ‘Ozymandias’ takes the form of a sonnet, however, Shelley disrupts the conventional Petrarchan pattern on line 9, when he continues the rhyme of the octave into sestet and only gradually introduces a new one. This goes far to symbolise the decay of the power which is implicitly described by the pharaoh as imperative. This presents the theme of the breakdown of power, and the idea that even the mightiest will fall to the reader. Contrastingly, ‘My Last Duchess’ takes the form of a dramatic monologue, lending the poem a sense of immediacy that makes it read like a live action scene, and provides the reader with a deliberately narrow perspective. This further accentuates the themes of power and control in the poem, as the Duke restricts the information that the listener has access to. This manipulation of information shows the permanence of his influence, as it shows his discretion and lack of braggadocio, which may preserve his character after his death. This contrast presents the reader with two approaches to maintaining power, which shows the desperation for status that was prevalent within society during the period that these poems were written.
Power can also be seen clearly in the use of structure in ‘Ozymandias’ and ‘My Last Duchess’. In ‘My Last Duchess’, rhyming couplets in iambic pentameter throughout show strict control of language, yet the use of enjambment and caesura create a natural conversational rhythm. This shows the reader that the Duke can easily present himself as a man of perfect charm and manners, whilst controlling those around him with a complete lack of morals. Shelley also makes use of pentameter in ‘Ozymandias’, but he appears to refuse to conform to any specific pattern. This may symbolise the lack of concrete and longstanding control that the pharaoh exercises over his people, which is further supported by Shelley’s unconventional use of form. This contrast also works to show the reader the differences between the maintenance of power within the two men: the Duke approaches it from an almost sociopathic standing, with a callousness matched by Ozymandias, but exercised more directly, as opposed to the pharaoh’s dictatorial approach to leadership. This serves as a commentary on the importance of preserving power during the 1800s, with each poet expressing their view on its illusive nature.
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dclayson
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#2
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#2
(Original post by phanson1)
Target grade 8 (low A*).

Compare how power is shown in Ozymandias and one other poem from the Power and Conflict section.

The idea of power is presented in both Ozymandias and My Last Duchess through themes of control. In ‘Ozymandias’, the pharaoh's control is expressed through the use of harsh-sounding alliteration in the phrase ‘sneer of cold command’. The use of this device works to foreground his cruelty, and, when combined with the noun ‘sneer’, it evokes the image of a dismissive and disrespectful ruler. This begins to prove his unadulterated control over his subjects to the reader, highlighting the lack of basic morality in his nature. The Duke also exhibits his control during ‘My Last Duchess’, most notably during a parenthetical aside, in which he says ‘none puts by the curtain I have drawn for you’. This suggests that he alone controls access to his late wife’s portrait, showing that his dominance over his wife is still in effect posthumously. This has an effect on the reader that is not unlike the effect of ‘Ozymandias’: it emphasises the repulsive nature of men in power. This is perhaps a commentary on Victorian men during this period, as although ‘My Last Duchess’ was set in the Italian Renaissance, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the poet’s wife, is known for her dislike of stereotypical Victorian men and their attitudes towards women, and this could have influenced the views of her husband, who she regarded a kindred spirit.
Themes of power are also shown in both poems through the use of form. ‘Ozymandias’ takes the form of a sonnet, however, Shelley disrupts the conventional Petrarchan pattern on line 9, when he continues the rhyme of the octave into sestet and only gradually introduces a new one. This goes far to symbolise the decay of the power which is implicitly described by the pharaoh as imperative. This presents the theme of the breakdown of power, and the idea that even the mightiest will fall to the reader. Contrastingly, ‘My Last Duchess’ takes the form of a dramatic monologue, lending the poem a sense of immediacy that makes it read like a live action scene, and provides the reader with a deliberately narrow perspective. This further accentuates the themes of power and control in the poem, as the Duke restricts the information that the listener has access to. This manipulation of information shows the permanence of his influence, as it shows his discretion and lack of braggadocio, which may preserve his character after his death. This contrast presents the reader with two approaches to maintaining power, which shows the desperation for status that was prevalent within society during the period that these poems were written.
Power can also be seen clearly in the use of structure in ‘Ozymandias’ and ‘My Last Duchess’. In ‘My Last Duchess’, rhyming couplets in iambic pentameter throughout show strict control of language, yet the use of enjambment and caesura create a natural conversational rhythm. This shows the reader that the Duke can easily present himself as a man of perfect charm and manners, whilst controlling those around him with a complete lack of morals. Shelley also makes use of pentameter in ‘Ozymandias’, but he appears to refuse to conform to any specific pattern. This may symbolise the lack of concrete and longstanding control that the pharaoh exercises over his people, which is further supported by Shelley’s unconventional use of form. This contrast also works to show the reader the differences between the maintenance of power within the two men: the Duke approaches it from an almost sociopathic standing, with a callousness matched by Ozymandias, but exercised more directly, as opposed to the pharaoh’s dictatorial approach to leadership. This serves as a commentary on the importance of preserving power during the 1800s, with each poet expressing their view on its illusive nature.


Firstly a great essay- you should be proud of yourself

Personally I would give it 25-26/30 according to my interpretation of the AQA mark scheme found at http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resource...-87022-SMS.PDF. This would be top of level 5 or bottom of level 6. Looking at the grade boundaries from summer 2017 this would be a grade 8 if you performed as well in all of the other sections however it will be harder to get the higher grades in future because teachers will know exactly how their students performed in last years set of exams and what they need to make sure that they cover for future year groups.

To improve, I would suggest analysing more individual key words but a super essay. Well done
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