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 Comment 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 Boleyn). 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.