Comparing between Freedom and Lady of Shalott

In both poems, Freedom and Lady of Shalott, the titles are quite mysterious, as they don’t give much information as to what the poem is about. When reading Freedom, we thought the poem would be about cages and being locked up. However, the poem turns out to be about love and relationships. We were surprised because love is thought to be good. The same happened when we read The Lady of Shalott, as it is a mysterious name, which only suggests that it is about a lady. After reading the poem we were surprised because the poem starts of being about cages and being locked up, but then changes and combines with love.

When this happens we can see that both writers have the same opinion that love is painful and hurts. Although in freedom he talks about love being confined whereas in some way Lady of Shalott says that love sets you free. However, both writers express that love has consequences. Freedom is arranged effectively on the page as it is all in one verse. Although this poem is short, it doesn’t matter because he gives us all the information. It suits being like this because it gets straight to the point he wants us to know about.

Because this poem is set out like this it shows that he doesn’t want you to question his views or think about them, he just want you to accept them. Also the way it is laid out creates an avalanche effect, which keeps the poem rolling, not giving you time to think about what you have just read, in a way that s paragraph would do. The only difference about this poem is that the last two lines, which indent. This creates a little time for you to take in what the writer has told you but not enough time to think, question or contradict what he has said. Also in the last two lines the rhyming scheme changes.

In the rest of the poem it was a, b, a, b, “free, pain, see, plain”, whereas in the last two lines it changes to rhyme in every line, “plod, God”. This creates an ending to the poem as it changes and gives the definitive ending to his “story”. This poem is also discreet. Although it tells you exactly what he is feeling, he does it conspicuously so you have to work it out. He does this by using metaphors to describe the way he feels. This is effective because, although it is written in a way so that you can’t think about it, he uses powerful metaphors, which most people, at sometime in their life, can relate to.

The poem is also laid out in a specific way. By looking at this we can see that it is not actually a poem, but a prayer. We can also see that it has simultaneous repetition in six of the lines and he also uses the same sentence structure. The lines start of with “I have been” which we can see is written in the past tense, whereas in the middle of the sentence he writes “and now” which is written in the present tense. As these tenses change so do the metaphors. After the comma the metaphor become the opposite and gives his feeling at that point. This is useful especially as the metaphor used is powerful and accessible.

The strongest metaphors can be the easiest to relate to. One example of this is lost. This is a very strong metaphor as it can mean many different things either physically or mentally. It is easy to relate to because we have all either felt lost or been lost as a child. When we unravelled the metaphor it triggered lots of memories and feelings that associated with the poem. This shows this is a strong metaphor, as is torture. Although not many of us will have been tortured it is a common worry on the news and many people could imagine what it was like.

However, when the metaphor was reversed we could then associate more with it and Jan Struther. The opposite of being lost was “my way lies plain”. The best feeling is when you know where you are going and what you are doing. The opposite of tortured was “I am eased of pain”. Again when we felt better after an illness we are happy. We know that tortured is a million times worse that being ill, therefore we know that being eased of pain must have been a million times better. This shows us how relieved Jan Struther is to be out of love.

By comparing the before and after feeling it strengthens the metaphor and makes it seem like a heart-felt poem. This however is not the case. The poem is a harsh and brutal poem about demeaning people’s ideas of love, but can trigger lost feelings. The repetition of this poem is a major part especially after discovering that it is indeed a prayer. Because of the amount of repetition in it, it may remind us of a litany. This is a special part of a church service where the priest chants and the people respond repeatedly.

By using the link up with a church service and by using a prayer it makes people take the poem more seriously and maybe believe it more. Also by referring to himself being God in the last line “was once a God”, the religiousness of love and the writer, intimidates the reader to make them take the prayer seriously. The poem emphasises the meaning of what love is a lot by using both repetition and accessible metaphors. By using these he also makes us feel trapped inside the poem and inside all of his thoughts and feelings.

I think he wants us to do this so that he can put his message across to us, not only by reading the poem but also by feeling into the poem. The repetition of the key word is also important, “I have” and “and now”. This makes sure that we don’t forget that he is getting over love and whilst he is, he is feeling completely the opposite. He adds this again by using opposite metaphors and changing tenses. After analysing the poem this much we can safely say that the writer has had a bad experience of love. But the last two lines differ from the rest of the poem.

We have already said that the physical appearance changes but we haven’t looked at the mental appearance, how the writer’s views change. Throughout the poem Jan Struther was demeaning love but we have noticed that this changes in the last two lines. We can see that he is bored when not in love, even though he thinks that he is free. We can see this because both dull and plod are used which are both very down putting nouns but in a different way to lost or tortured. We can see that these words are more empty nouns with no feeling within them, unlike lost and tortured.

We find this surprising as after using all of those vivid metaphors and strong description we can see that it is ironic for him to be lonely. It is also contradicting because when he is in love all he wants to do is be free. However, when he is free all he wants to be is in love. We can learn a lot about love from this poem as it lets us remember feelings and emotions. However it does not put the reader under the influence to despise love. This is because it keeps us keen on what love will be like for us. If anything, the poem may hasten people’s needs to fall in love and feel like the poem has described.

There is also excitement to feel the pain of not being in love afterwards. After reading Freedom we also read the poem Lady of Shalott which is noticeably different to Freedom even in the length and layout. Even by reading the title we can get first impression that the poem has a sense of mystery and royalty. We can see this by noticing that she is called “the Lady” of Shalott. This creates mystery by not giving a hint as to what the theme of the poem was or the outcome. We also notice the length of the poem is long and is split into parts and then into paragraphs. This creates an effect on us about the detail given in this poem.

We can also guess at what type of poem it. We know that Freedom is a statement therefore Lady of Shalott almost has an opposite length so we now that it is not a statement. We also know that it isn’t a prayer because it has no religious theme in it. Also it is written about someone not ones self. So by narrowing down the opportunities and judging by the length we can guess that it is a story or a narrative poem. By now we can also see that these two poems are very opposite, just like fact and fiction, poem and story. This is true, however when skimming through the poem we can see that the basis of the story is similar-love.

They are both about what love can do once you let it take over. In both poems they tell us that love hurts. The Lady of Shalott however does it more conspicuously by embedding it into a story. Freedom is very forward about the pain caused by using powerful description to tell us what he was feeling. By looking over the Lady of Shalott we cannot only see that it is long but also that it is split up into parts. This is another indication that it is almost a story. We also know that there must be a beginning, middle and an end to the poem because of its length, just like a story.

Most poems with a length like this have a lot a description and a good story line and structure to base the poem on. We can see this as Freedom doesn’t have a lot a description in the poem itself, you have to dig for it. Also in the parts we can see that there is a pattern within the verses is regular. The sentence length and rhyming scheme is the same throughout the poem. Also, in line five and nine in each verse the rhyme is the same as it is Shalott, Camelot or Lancelot. We expect the poem to be noble by the length and layout as it is kept consistent throughout the poem also by the vocabulary used.

The rhythm and rhyming patterns in this poem are also very important. The rhythm means that when it is read it flows easily. The rhyming scheme in this poem, by having everything to rhyme, again means that it flows well but also it adds to the cleverness of the poem. The rhythm and rhyming scheme also add mystery to the poem and makes it seem more like a fairytale. The rhyming pattern is very obvious in this poem and it stands out when you hear it. It dominates the poem, as it has good rhymes throughout each half of the poem. As well as the rhyme scheme changing half way through the poem so does the rhythm.

In lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 there are 4 beats in each line. This changes however in lines 5 and 9 as it follows a different pattern. In these lines Shalott, Camelot and Lancelot are emphasised in a change of the rhyme scheme. This makes you become more aware. This is clever because the Lady of Shalott and Sir Lancelot are both main characters. This is somehow similar to Freedom as the rhyming scheme is regular throughout that poem but then changes to tell us the important information. In Freedom the last two lines change, but sum up the poem and give us final thoughts.

Although the lines in lady of Shalott do not sum up the poem, they do cover the most important points: -Lady of Shalott in Camelot with Sir Lancelot. Because of the rhyme and rhythm patterns combined with the changing in lines 5 and 9 the poem flows well. This is important to keep the reader interested throughout the poem. It also helps our imagination to wander when reading the poem and to be entranced almost by this story. This is done by vivid image words. Freedom does this in a different way as the writer keeps us listening by relating to us and giving us the details and expecting us to relate to them.

You are curious after reading the first line as to why he is out of love, and more importantly, why is he happy about it? This keeps us reading the poem out of curiosity. Lady of Shalott keeps us entranced in the poem by creating the scene and letting us know that something is going to happen, but not when. In part 1 of Lady of Shalott it is all about describing the surroundings, the atmosphere and giving brief examples of everyday life for the Lady. The description used emphasises what a boring life the Lady leads by describing the surrounding colours. He uses very dull colours like whites and greys, colourless colours.

This gives us the description we need to know what her life is like. Although we can see that she is in a dull life, we can also see that she is happy there. She is happy sitting at the loom doing the same thing everyday. She is satisfied that her only communication to the outside world consists of her looking through a mirror. We can see this in Part2 “So she weaveth steadily, and little other care hath she”. We think that this is strange because we know how dull it is in her castle, but we remember that she knows no other world. Also in part 2 we can see that the awareness of love is already in her heart.

She sees people outside, walking around and doesn’t feel jealous about their freedom and ability to love. She is content sitting at her loom. However, when she sees two lovers walking past her window, then she becomes discontent. We can see even from the beginning of Part 3 that her view towards being stuck on the castle change, as does the atmosphere and surroundings. The colours change from greys and whites to yellows and reds. This is because of Sir Lancelot. As soon as he arrives into the poem we can see an increase in light in her world and glitter objects.

Everything on, about and around this knight is sparkling giving the impression that love in shiny and brand new. It also says that love is good and it makes her feel good. Even the description of Sir Lancelot everything is perfect and couldn’t be greater. The weather is also perfect “In the blue unclouded weather”. This again links back to Sir Lancelot being glittery as when the sky is clear, the sun is out. The sun is the biggest light source, making us think of bright lights surrounding him. This again changes however, when she actually makes a choice. As soon as she chooses love over security the atmosphere and surroundings change.

They reverse back to a dull world and dull weather, “stormy east wind straining”. The poem also says that she “made three paces from the loom”. This shows how close she was from security to death and how easy it would be to leave the loom. When this choice is made and the background is changed, the words used for description also change. For example “complaining”, “heavily”, “dim”. This also shows that the choice is bad because her happy words from Part 1 change. She suddenly has problems. Where she is going? What she is doing? Because of this she wants people to know who she is. She does this by writing her name on the wall.

This could be either to show the ending of her, or to show Sir Lancelot her name. These maybe ina last attempts to have him know her. However, in the last paragraph we find that he didn’t even know her and plainly says, “She has a lovely face”. After reading Sir Lancelot’s’ response we can see that the choice she made was a bad one. After she gave up everything to see him clearly, the story tells us that it was all for nothing. We can draw from this that one moral of the poem is that love has consequences. So now we have evaluated both poems separately, we can we can find links from one to the other.

As soon as you finish reading both poems we can draw the conclusion that they are both relating to love. However, the links go much deeper than this, maybe even to the writers’ private feelings. We can see that Freedom is telling us that love can be good, but it has consequences of hurt and controlling. We can see this by looking at the powerful metaphors he uses to describe the past tense. We can see this also in the Lady of Shalott only more subtly. We know that she was happy when in her tower, watching the world through a mirror, until love came along.

Her world starts to tumble once this sparkly, dazzling man come into her life and she takes the risk and looses everything. So we can see that this poem too, is telling us that love has consequences. However, in the Lady of Shalott these consequences were greater than those in Freedom, as in Freedom it is was painful emotion, whereas in Lady of Shalott it was death. This is where we might get the idea that both writers have had bad experiences about love in similar ways. Both poems are trying to give you a down perspective of love, but as said previously, it may increase our desire to love.