Seamus Heaney- Punishment

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Give a brief overview of Punishment's context.
About a 14 year old girl's body found in 1952, executed due to adultery ('her shaved head'), self accusation as they would stand and watch- 'I who have stood dumb'.
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How are Heaney's lexical choices significant to the poem?
Shows his love for literary past through 'oak-bone'. Low frequency lexis ('firkin')- links to past. Increasing personal engagement ('you' 'her') links to 'I almost love you'.
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Discuss the importance of '******' in Punishment.
Allowed to have relationship, talks about her before, betrayal observed in detail- '******'. Admits he would have watched, contrast.
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How is the voice of the poem significant?
First person narrator- 'I' six times, personal connection. Intimacy with past to convey relationship ('I know'). Shift in verse 6- graphologically the central point of the poem (in the middle= the centre of his life)
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How is figurative language employed in Punishment?
A number of metaphors 'to amber beads', 'floating rods'- immediacy of experience, nature= melding to land. Speaker recognises the voyeuristic nature of observations, complicit in silence about tribal revenge.
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How does Heaney use syntax to convey his ides in Punishment?
Use of present tense- imediacy of experience, contrasts with 'punished'- links to past and today. Modal 'would' rather than will- uncertainty about how effective 'civilised outrage' is. Contrast in naming of 'little adultress'- patronising, judgement
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What is the importance of 'my little scapegoat'?
Current, first person possessive pronoun, contemporary.
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How is the rhythm of the poem significant?
No full end rhyme, few half rhymes e.g. 'stone' and 'combs'- carried away with love for past, hesitance? Internal open vowel sounds that envoke suffering- 'drowned' 'body'
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Card 2

Front

How are Heaney's lexical choices significant to the poem?

Back

Shows his love for literary past through 'oak-bone'. Low frequency lexis ('firkin')- links to past. Increasing personal engagement ('you' 'her') links to 'I almost love you'.

Card 3

Front

Discuss the importance of '******' in Punishment.

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

How is the voice of the poem significant?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How is figurative language employed in Punishment?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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