GCSE AQA English Literature Anthology Power & Conflict Quotes

A quick, basic summary of each poem and what to link each to.


"sneer of cold command" - dictator

"boundless and bare" - ironic

"look on my works, ye mighty and despair!" - ironic

"nothing beside remains"

Rameses II - thought he was a God

"king of kings" - ironic (no one has heard of him)

Sonnet - ironic, love of his people - sneer of cold command juxtaposes

Power of nature

1 of 15


"charter'd streets" - mapped out / owned streets - power of the wealth

"charter'd thames" - nature is being controlled

"mind-forged manacles" - acceptance of the mentality

"marriage hearse"

"Youthful harlot's curse"

Regular stanzas - shows control

Loss of freedom

Showing what London is really like

2 of 15

The Prelude

"huge peak, black and huge"

"like a swan"

"grim shape"

"one summer evening (led by her)"

Wordsworth in the Lake District admiring the landscape and being afraid

3 of 15

My Last Duchess

"that's my last duchess"

"my gift of a nine hundred year old name"

"her looks went everywhere"

"half-flush dies along her throat"

"the curtain I have drawn for you"

"looking as if she were alive"

"too soon made glad, too easily impressed"

Dramatic monologue

4 of 15

Charge of the Light Brigade

"noble six hundred"

"into the valley of death"

"into the mouth of Hell"

"someone had blunder'd"

"rode the six hundred"


Celebratory tone

5 of 15


"but nothing happened" - repeated

"our brains ache" - war is psychological and physical

"sudden successive flights of bullets streak the silence" - sibilence - gun fire

"merciless iced east winds that knive us" - nature is the enemy

Link to Storm on the Island

6 of 15

Storm on the Island

"we are prepared"

"a huge nothing that we fear"

"spits like a tame cat /turned savage" - sharp 's' sound exemplifies violence / power

"exploding comfortably" - juxtaposition

Power of nature - Link to Exposure

7 of 15

Bayonet Charge

"threw up a yellow hare" - yellow the colour of fear - nature is a victim

"sweating like moltern iron" - man into a machine

2nd stanza slower pace

"King, honour, human dignity, etcetera" - listing shows reasons of war as pathetic

Enjambment - fast and frantic

Semantic field of patriotism

"cold clockwork" - the one's in power don't know the affect of their decisions

8 of 15


"probably armed, possibly not" - doubt, repeated. Shows long lasting psychological affects

"tossed his guts" - no respect

"his bloody life in my bloody hands" - alternate meanings. Literal blood or theoretical blood

"myself and somebody else and somebody else" - polysyndeton - pause, emphasis - like a line in the army. Lack of induvidualism

"every round rips through his life"

Mix of past and present tense shows how this event is haunting the narrator

9 of 15


"Armistice Sunday"

"pinned one onto your lapel"

"playground voice" - wants him to be a child again

"gelled blackthorns" - describing hair but referring to the suffering the son will undergo

"play at being Eskimos"

"dove pulled freely against the sky"

"ornamental stitch"

"sellotape bandaged around my hand"

"white cat hairs"


"released a song bird from its cage"

"the world overflowing like a treasure chest"

Link to the Emigreé

10 of 15

War Photographer

"spools of suffering set out in ordered rows" - like in the army

"Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh" - polysyndeton

"fields which don't explode"

"hundred agonies in black-and-white" - not in true colour

"half-formed ghost"

"he earns a living and they do not care"

Based on a friend of Carol Ann Duffy

11 of 15


"paper that lets the light shine through" - symbol of religion

"could alter things" - power

"if buildings were paper" - not powerful

"maps too" - divide the natural world


"like paper kites" - fragile

"turned into your skin" - fragility of life.

Link to Poppies

12 of 15

The Emigreé

"sunlight" - hope - perfectly captured

"accuse me of absence" - cinister

"branded by an impression of sunlight" - cannot change her ideas - branded as an outsider

"tyrants" - war is present but is ignored by narrator

Never mentions place - makes it relateable

"child's vocabulary" - only a child when she left, can she really describe the place well?

"my city" - possessive. Tender / care

Free Verse  - Enjambment - reflects chaos of war

"once" - fairy tale

"I comb its hair and love its shining eyes" - personification

13 of 15

Checking out me history

"dem tell me / dem tell me / dem tell me what dem want to tell me" - colloquial (creole) - only given the eurocentric view on history

"**** Wittington and he cat" - tell fairy tales

"Nanny de maroon" - indian / west history

"I'm checking out me history" - choosing to go against what is taught in schools

14 of 15


"samurai swords" - if not killed by crash, kill yourself

"one-way journey into history" - no turning back

"dark shoals of fishes" - positive image

"pearl-grey" - precious

"safe to shore, salt-sodden, awash" - sibilance - soft sounding like nursery rhyme to children

"gradually we too learned / to be silent"

"he must have wondered / which had been the better way to die" - die a hero or as a coward?

15 of 15


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