Writ 340 Assign - Chris Bullard Writ 340 Professor...

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Chris Bullard Writ 340 Professor Franzek September 17, 2007 “ULYSSES” AND “TO HIS COY MISTRESS”: REPRESENTATIONAL OR EXPERIMENTAL? In both poetry and prose, writers approach the world in a variety of ways that display society in a different light to the reader. Some writers take the representational approach of holding a mirror up to the world in such a way that their work displays the world as it truly is. On the other hand, others choose to utilize techniques that present a new view of the world that challenges the typical and traditional view most would hold; this is also called the experimental approach. Although these two techniques are very different, they both can provide a strong-hitting message to the audience. Most works are neither completely representational nor experimental, but fall somewhere in a spectrum between the two. While Andrew Marvell’s poem “To His Coy Mistress” and Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Ulysses” both deliver a message of taking advantage of our short time on earth, a careful look at the form, imagery, and symbolism used the poems will show that “Ulysses” falls on the experimental side of the spectrum, whereas Marvell’s poem is more representational. The first main difference in form between the two poems is the rhythm and rhyme. In “To His Coy Mistress” (see Appendix A), Marvell uses a simple ABAB rhyme scheme, such as in the first two lines “Had we but world enough, and time,/ This coyness Lady were no crime” (Marvell 1-2). This is a very straightforward rhyming pattern that is easy to follow and many are familiar with. The rhythm of the poem, as well, is very simplistic with each line containing eight syllables. This simple, catchy method of rhyme is extremely representational of how a lover would want to woo a woman with something that sounds
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good to the ear. Tennyson’s “Ulysses” (see Appendix B), on the other hand, employs the use of iambic pentameter, a slightly more complicated form in which an unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed syllable five times. While this rhythm pattern is quite normal for a dramatic monologue such as “Ulysses”, Tennyson also employs the technique of enjambment, which is not generally found in dramatic monologues. This literary technique is constructed with thoughts that don’t end with the line breaks of the poem. Instead, they run on to the next line and often end in the middle of two lines. For example, Ulysses tells, “The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs: the deep/ Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends/… (Tennyson 54-55). The usage of this technique helps to underline the idea of pushing forward that Ulysses emphasizes in his words. Just as Ulysses urges his mariners to push forward despite the knowledge that death is closing in, the enjambment of the lines force us to push forward to the next line to complete the idea presented to us. This use of iambic pentameter and enjambment do not reflect how someone would naturally talk,
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