Look Again at ”Out, Out-” by Frost and at Bredon Hill by Housman Which Both Deal with the Theme of Death. with Close Reference to the Ways Each Poet Uses Language, Compare and Contrast What the Speakers in the Poems Say

Topics: Poetry, Rhyme scheme, Stanza Pages: 4 (1591 words) Published: May 10, 2013
“Out,Out-“ and Bredon Hill are two very different poems which both deal with the theme of unexpected death. “Out,Out-“, by Robert Frost, is the story of the death of a boy caused by a buzz-saw. The title, “Out,Out-“, was taken by Frost from Shakespeare’s Macbeth – these words were used to express Macbeth’s grief at the death of his wife, Lady Macbeth, saying “out,out brief candle”, which enforces the idea that a life has prematurely ended, which echoes the theme and narrative of the poem. However, in Bredon Hill the title does not have any particular significance to the theme of unexpected death; rather it is the name of a place where the persona and his girlfriend liked to spend their time together.

“Out,Out-“ is written in blank verse which is a narrative form: telling a story. The simple lexicology such as, “Five mountain ranges one behind the other” intensifies the feeling of shock in the reader when the buzz-saw “Leaped out at the boy’s hand,” as it is quite unexpected. Similarly, Bredon Hill tells a story, but it is written in seven five-line stanzas, each telling a different part of the lovers’ story. However, Bredon Hill is a lyric, which was most likely chosen by Housman due to its mournful characteristics which would suit the poem due to the mournful nature of the last three stanzas, when the persona’s girlfriend “rose up so early.” The poem also seems to become a lament towards then end, when the speaker says that he “will come [to church],” which is almost like a cry of defeat due to the unexpected death of his lover.

Personally, I feel that the structure of both poems helps reinforce the theme of unexpected death, as well as the speakers’ reactions to it. The structure of “Out, Out-“ really conveys the unpredictability of an unexpected death with its narrative form which doesn’t really change at all-making the death more shocking, which also shows the speaker’s indifferent attitude to the boy’s death. However, in Bredon Hill the sudden change...
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