There Is No God, the Wicked Saith

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Compare ‘There Is No God, The Wicked Saith’ with ‘There’s probably no God… now stop worrying and enjoy your life.’

The Victorian era was a period of rapid industrial growth, social unrest and scientific discovery. Victorian poetry was marked by religious doubt, personal despair and general uncertainty about life. ‘There Is No God, the Wicked Saith’ is an example of a poem that deals with religious doubt and it challenges the idea of religion and the existence of God. Arthur Hugh Clough was influenced by the High Church movement for a time but he eventually rejected it. Later in life he became unwilling to teach the doctrines of the Church Of England as a tutor and resigned himself in Paris. ‘There Is No God’ shows his dismissive attitude towards religion and Clough is very cynical in mocking the Church and its followers. The poem is simplistic with a deep meaning. The article,‘There’s probably no God… now stop worrying and enjoy your life’ is an account of an atheist campaign against negative religious messages. In contrast to Clough’s poem, it encourages people to believe what they want to, instead of being demeaning. The metrical pattern of iambic tetrameter/trimetre is childlike but elegant and is juxtaposed with the grim, cynical message. The ABCB rhyming pattern adds a derisive sing-song quality to the poem, ‘it’s a blessing, for what He might have done with us it’s only better guessing.’ Clough suggests that if there were a God, people would be punished for the wrong that they do and he presents this evidence in an unattractive gloating manner. It is in 3rd person, but the speakers are in 1st person. The different voices add texture to the poem and allow Clough to mimic and mock various religious stereotypes. He uses these voices to question whether there is a God and explore people’s beliefs and reasons for being religious. The article is in 3rd person meaning the writer does not express a personal opinion towards the...
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