Topic: By reference to at least three literary works, show that the

Topic: By reference to at least three literary works, show that the theme of each work is developed by
the inclusion of a creature from nature.
Scale Point 5
This essay has a good match of works for the topic and generally sustains its focus upon theme. There
are many specific details, although sometimes the details may be inaccurate (Keats’ "Nightingale") or
irrelevant (Wyatt). After a weak but focused introduction, the writing is fluent with strong transitions as
the writer moves from one poem to the next.
In each of the following works, the descriptions or symbol of an animal is
vital to the development of the theme. In the first, the power of a birds'
song over a person's mood. Second, the comparison of a woman to a deer, and
last, the symbol of animals as societal groups.
In the first poem, Keats' Ode to A Nightingale the speaker begins as a
troubled and depressed individual. He has been "half in love with easeful
death" and has considered many ways of ending his life. Until he happens to
hear the song of a nightingale outside his window, he is lost in his own
despair. Upon hearing the song, however, he is uplifted to a place of
tranquility and optimistic wonder. He can scarcely believe that such a
simple song can have such a profound impact on his demeanor. He is so joyous
and relieved of all tension while under the trance of the song that he wishes
it to go on forever. Unfortunately, the song must end, but in his mind the
"immortal" birds' song will live on in his memory. The theme of this poem is
that although temporary escape and detachment from reality and hardship is
wonderful, it cannot last forever. Eventually, we must return back to our
problems to resolve them and move on. The realization of the end is
something that pertains to the second poem.
In Sir Thomas Wyatt's Whoso List to Hunt, the speaker is an entranced lover
who is chasing after a woman (much as Wyatt supposedly chased after Anne
In reality, Anne Boleyn was also sought after by King Henry, and
this may be one of the reasons that Wyatt abandoned the "hunt". In the poem,
the woman is portrayed as a deer. The deer is beautiful, swift, wild, and
hard to catch. Wyatt addresses another lover, by stating that he is giving
up the chase, and states his reasons why. "Whoso list to hunt, I know where
is a hind". Wyatt is tired of the chase, and has realized its futility, for
"in a net I seek to hold the wind". He has tried to catch something wild and
free, but it is a pointless chase. The deer, in part, cannot be caught
because she already belongs to someone. "Noli me tangere', don't touch me,
for Caesar's I am". The deer (or as guessed Anne Boleyn) already belongs to
Caesar (or King Henry) so even if Wyatt caught her, he may be punished for
doing so. In the end, Wyatt realized the futility of his chase for the deer
is "too wild for to hold, though I may seem tame". The theme is that the
chase is better given up, if pointless, and not continued, because you cannot
tame something wild. The uncontrollable animal in this poem resembles the
beast in the third piece.
Lastly, in Yeat's The Second Coming there are two animals that are used.
Each is used as a symbol of different societal groups. In this poem, Yeats
depicts a falcon, flying further and further away from the falconer. This,
has several symbolic meanings. The falcon, flies in orbits above the
falconer. This is used to symbolize Yeats theory that history happens in
2000 – year cycles. This is again mentioned in society’s "two thousand years
of stony sleep". The falcon abandoning the falconer is used to symbolize the
falling apart of civilization in the "widening gyre". Yeats called a gyre a
cone of history, which would slowly dwindle into a point (or an end). One
cycle of time would end as another began. This falcon flying away would
depict the gyre coming to a close, and the beginning of a new era would be at
hand. This idea of a new era beginning was further established by the symbol
of the Sphinx of Egyptian era, which was two thousand years before the coming
of Christ. At the end of the poem, Yeats describes "after twenty centuries
of stony sleep", the Sphinx walking towards Bethlehem. "And what rough
beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born".
Since the Sphinx is the symbol of the Egyptian era, and Bethlehem is the
symbol of the Christian era, the Sphinx walking towards Bethlehem would
suggest a repeat of history, or a new cycle. This complex and highly
symbolic poem uses animals to convey the theme of the uncontrollable movement
of time. We cannot control time any more than we can control an animal that
has left our grasp.
In each of these poems, the creatures play an important role in conveying the
theme. They do so because we cannot truly control animals any more than we
can control lovers, circumstances, or the passage of time.