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ENGLISH REVISION

SEAMUS HEANEY; SOPHOCLEAN


First he was shivering on the shore in skins ­ MAN AT THE MERCY OF NATURE
Or hunkering behind shell-middens in a cave. ­CONJURES NEOLITHIC TIMES,
CAVEMEN- THE BEGINNING OF MANKIND
Then he took up oars, put tackle on a mast, -SLOW STEPS TO PROGRESS…

Page 2

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Then let this marvel of the world remember: -SOMEWHAT IRONIC `MARVEL OF THE
WORLD' ­ THINKS HE IS IN TOTAL CONTROL, THE PERFECT CREATION- NOT THE
CASE. CAN BE SEEN IN CHANNEL FIRING.
When he comes begging we will turn our backs. ­MAN CANNOT DEFEAT DEATH AND
IS NOT FULLY…

Page 3

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SIEGFRIED SASSOON; THE GENERAL


"Good-morning; good-morning!" the General said ­BREEZY, WELL SPOKEN, SEEMINGLY
UNARING. `THE GENERAL' IDENTIFIES HIS RANK AND THE FACT THAT HE IS LIKELY
ARISTOCRATIC. ALSO DEPERSONALISES HIM- DOESN'T USE HIS NAME- APPLIES TO ALL
GENERALS IN THE ARMY.

When we met him last week on our way…

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July 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross. Despite his decoration and reputation, he
decided in 1917 to make a stand against the conduct of the war. One of the reasons for his
violent anti-war feeling was the death of his friend, David.

At the end of a spell of…

Page 5

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BEFORE HE ARRIVED AT THE FRONT). NAMELESS- COULD APPLY TO ANY WW1
SOLDIER.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum, -TONE CHANGES DRAMATICALLY, CONTRAST TO
HIS PREVIOUS `GRIN' AND `EMPTY JOY'. WINTER/SPRING- DARKENS THE TONE.
With crumps and lice and lack of rum, -CRUMPS COULD REFER TO THE SOUND OF
SHELLS…

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A queer sardonic rat ­ IRONICALLY EXCHANGES HUMAN/ANIMAL ROLES AND
PERSONIFIES THE RAT. `SARDONIC' -VIEWING BATTLE DISDAINFULLY. AMUSEMENT ON
THE PART OF THE SPEAKER IS EVIDENT. WHIMSICAL DESCRIPTION.
As I pull the parapet's poppy ­PERHAPS THE SPEAKER IS A LOOKOUT- ON THE PARAPET
AT DAWN. POPPIES- COMMON WARTIME IMAGERY. PLOSIVES…

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QUESTION OF WHETHER THE SPEAKER KNOWS THIS/SEES IT AS INEVITABLE. ALSO
EVIDENCES THE SPEAKER'S RESIGNATION YET HOPE.


THE POET AND TIME PERIOD

Isaac Rosenberg was born to a Jewish family of Russian descent in the poor East End of
London in 1890. Rosenberg was an artist and poet who attended…

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3. Were they inclined to quiet laughter? ­REFINED PEOPLE, CULTURED, QUIET- AGAIN
OPPOSES AMERICAN CULTURE
4. Did they use bone and ivory,
jade and silver, for ornament?
5. Had they an epic poem? ­REMINISCENT OF OLD CULTURES, GREEK MYTHS ETC-
PATRONISING
6. Did they distinguish between speech and singing? ­AGAIN…

Page 9

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It was reported their singing resembled
the flight of moths in moonlight. ­DELICATE IMAGERY.
Who can say? It is silent now. ­FINAL QUESTION EMPHASISES THAT WE WILL NEVER
KNOW THE TRUE ANSWER TO ANY OF THE QUESTIONS. POIGNANT FINAL SENTENCE
REITERATES THE IDEA OF LOSS.



THE POET AND TIME PERIOD…

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including the NLF, suffered 1.1 million dead and 600,000 wounded during Hanoi's conflict
with the United States. Civilian deaths were put at two million in the North and South.


THE POEM ITSELF

The short sentences of the poem create dramatic impact. The poem has a `question and
answer' structure- could…

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