Comparing "Douglas" and "London, 1802"

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Phil Young
Dr. Degen
Pre-Ap English 2
March 11, 2011
In Need of Help
Standing “among the slaughtered dead men,” Odysseus was “spattered over with gore and battle filth, like a lion who has been feeding on an ox of the fields, and goes off covered in blood.” After his long and suffering journey [AdvSc], Homer’s Odysseus finally returns home to his palace and finds all the suitors taking advantage of his absence [PrPP] and trying to court his wife. His absence has created a very tough life for his family and faithful servants, but now that he has returned, he kills all the suitors and returns order back to the palace. Odysseus’s return home, his ability to install peace and order within his palace once he returns, and Homer’s description of him as a lion resembles the strong, inspiring leader that both William Wordsworth and Paul Dunbar are asking for help from. Also his use of the nature imagery to describe Odysseus as a lion eating an ox relates to the nature imagery both Wordsworth and Dunbar use. The poems “Douglass” and “London, 1802” both have settings that are very dark and depressing situations in which they beg for the return of their leader, but they use the nature imagery in different ways in order to get their point across.

In times of desperation and hopelessness, Wordsworth and Dunbar use their poetry to cry out for help in their time of need. Displayed in their diction [PaPP], both authors plea for help from their dead leaders. For instance, in “London, 1802,” proclaiming that he wishes John Milton were still alive because “England hath need of thee,” the speaker explains to Milton what England has become since his death, “a fen of stagnant waters” (Wordsworth 2-3). To describe his country in this explicit way as a swamp [Inf. Phrase], Wordsworth shows how abashed he is at how much England has gone awry in just the one hundred thirty years since Milton’s death. He glorifies John Milton for things he achieved in his life and asks him to...
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