How Do Shakespeare and Heaney Present Strong Feelings Between Fathers and Their Children in the Texts You Have Studied?

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Stockholm Metro, Family Pages: 5 (2199 words) Published: May 12, 2013
How do Shakespeare and Heaney present strong feelings between fathers and their children in the texts you have studied?

Both Shakespeare and Heaney present relationships between fathers and their children. Shakespeare through Capulet and Juliet and Heaney through his poetry about his father. Both these differ in context, the Capulet trials and tribulations being fictional whereas Heaney has his own personal experiences shown in his poetry. In addition both contexts affect the relationships in hand. In act 1 scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare portrays Capulet as an altruistic character and is conversing with Paris about the latter’s marriage proposal in a way that is protective. This protectiveness is shown by the Quote “She’s the hopeful lady of my earth” which indicates the feeling that Juliet is the only hope of Capulet’s life, the only child of his body, and the sole heir to the estate. Shakespeare uses this to show that Juliet will grow up in a different earth to the ground where Capulet’s children are buried thus demonstrating the strong protective side between father and daughter. This is also made known on line 10-11 “let 2 more summers wither in their pride, ere we may think her ripe to be a bride” This implies that Paris should wait a couple of year as Juliet is not yet “ripe”. This could mean that she is not yet ready for the picking (like a commodity) and is brought or sold however being “owned” by their father in this time was not unusual. Capulet’s alteria motive is for her to marry and have children however at this time she is too young. In line 17 Capulet shows kindness by communicating to Paris that Juliet must give consent for his wish to be accepted. Another feeling of kindness that Shakespeare portrays is in line 8 where Juliet is “yet a stranger to the world”. This shows that she is not ready for marriage as she is just a girl and not a woman. Capulet believes that Juliet needs to know more before she meets new challenges head on. It is as if he wants her to get to know the world before it gets to know her. This is implied further by the hopeful lady of my earth where Capulet denies the suitor his pride and displays paternal protection. Finally in this scene line 14 “earth has swallowed all my hopes but she” shows that all the other children are dead and buried and that Juliet is his only hope. At this point Shakespeare perceives that Capulet may only be concerned with the preservation of his line. Similarly Heaney alludes to the preservation of his “family roots “in metaphors of the earth and in the description of his father within Follower. The central idea in Follower is the way the relationship between parents and children shifts through time. Heaney moves from the perspective of a young, admiring son to an exasperated one. The child literally followed in his father’s footsteps as he ploughed or worked around the farm but he also follows him in a generational way. Finally, he is ruefully aware of his father’s dependence upon him, realising that his responsibility “will not go away”. The opening stanza presents the poet’s father as a very strong farmer whose physical strength is exceptional. Heaney presents his younger self’s admiration for his father by using the “globed” shape to imply that his father was his world just as Juliet is Capulet’s world. The description of his “shoulders globed like a full sail strung” creates a strong visual image of physical effort. The second stanza opens with a short sentence that sums up the ploughman in just two words; he is “An expert.” The expertise claimed for the father by the admiring son is proven in the actual execution of the work in hand. The words “angled”, “mapped” and “exactly” tell us that the business of ploughing is very skilled and that being good at it requires a great deal of know how; there is a good deal more to it than meets the eye. The first three stanzas concentrate on the poet’s father in a sense of admiration but the last...
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