english literature

notes on each of the short stories and poems by Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage and the pre-1914 poems.

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my last duchess

"all smiles stopped together"

 - he killed he so she stopped smiling at and men and they stopped smiling at her

 - proud of himself / boasting

 - regrets doing it " all smiles" including his

 - powerful

 - no remorse / trophy

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my last duchess

"looking as if she were alive"

 - beginning introduces she is dead

 - boasting / jelousy / dominant / hate / outrage

 - jelous of his last duchess

 - feels he justified the reason to kill her

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sonnet 130

" i think my love as rare"

 - ryhming couplet shows relationship

 - contrast other cliches

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sonnet 130


 - iambic pentameter connotes love

 - he loves her for who she is not what she looks like

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on my first sonne

" farewell child of my right hand"

 - oldest son gets everything such as land

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on my first sonne

"my sinne"

 - feels guilty that sonne died as it is his fault

 - sinne is stronger

 - grief

 - pride

6 of 22

the laboratory

" and her breast and her arms and her hands, should drop dead"

 - creates excitement by repeating the word "and"

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the laboratory

"let death be felt"

 - doesnt want a quick death

 - experience in killing

 - wants it to be painful

8 of 22


" following the sun to west from east"

 - backwards to show the hitchers perspective on life

" the ansaphone kept screaming"

 - miscommunication with the outside world

9 of 22


" didnt even swerve"

 - experienced

 - no emotion / proud or happy

 - free intention to kill

 - wants to permanantly disfirgure

 - strategic / clinical

 - wants to remove the hitchers identity

10 of 22


"batman, big shot"

 - spitting it out in anger

 - harsh 'b' sound connotes shooting of bullets

 - it is the beginning of the peom so it is effective

 - stopping the community focusing in batman want them to focus on him

 - batman and robin could be the metaphor for a father and son

 - robin is getting more confident

11 of 22


"now im the real boy wonder"

 - it is the beginning of the peom so it is effective

 - stopping the community focusing in batman want them to focus on him

 - batman and robin could be the metaphor for a father and son

 - robin is getting more confident

12 of 22

mother, any distance

" Anchor. Kite"

 - the anchor is a metaphor for the mother

 - the kite is a metaphor for the son

 - portrays the relationship between mother and daughter

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mother, any distance

-  the first line of stanza one starts with " mother"

 - the first line of stanza two is "you"

 - the first line of stanza three is "i"

 - this portrays that the son is growing more independent

14 of 22


"these ribs are pleats or seams"

 - describes himself as a product of the jacket

 - reconciliation

"it still fits"

 - no matter what happens they are still her parents

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"step backwards into it"

 - wants to get back where they were before the argument happened


 - the stanza lengths vary which connotes that someone will be there for you depending on the different circumstances

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before you were mine

" the decade ahead of my loud, possesive yell was the best one, eh?"

 - before i was born your life was better

 - sarcasm

 - control / acceptance / respect

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before you were mine

" stamping stars from the wrong pavement"

 - connotes that she has crushed her mothers dream

 - broken the pavement


 - secrets behind the pictures

 - mother is now dead, so is marilyn monroe " now your ghost clatters towards me"

18 of 22


" im a mucky ghost"

 - wants to be the centre of attention in the middle of the middle stanza

 - invisible to the outside world " ghost"

 - pride

" you dont understand a word im saying, do you?"

 - outcast / outsider

 - leaves the reader thinking

 - opens and closes the poem with a question

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" frozen stiff, hugged to my chest, a fierce chill"

 - oxymoronic

 - contrasts with each other

" i watched my gloved hand twisting the doorknob"

 - outsider

 - knows what he is doing but doesn't try to stop himself

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anne hathaway

" by touch, by scent, by taste"

 - multi sensory

 - life is complete

 - love

"romance and drama played..."

 - showed through experience

 - work / drama / tradgedy

21 of 22

anne hathaway

"next best bed"

 - memories they shared in that bed

 - relationship is stronger in that bed

 - love

"i hold him in the casket of my widows head"

 - her lover has passed away so she is holding him in her thoughts

22 of 22




You can print these off, and quickly flash through them before an examination.

Rated 5* due to the very effective technique.

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