hakespeareArmando Acosta Many of England’s greatest writers are known for their epic masterpieces. William Shakespeare who wrote during the 15th century, created many plays, lyric poems as well as sonnets. Known as a well respected master of his craft, Shakespeare wrote many fine lyrics which can now be found in his plays, poems, and sonnets. Similarly, Thomas Hardy, a realist poet in the 19th century, is best known for his pessimistic style and tone used in many poems and novels.
The poem It Was a Lover and His Lass by Shakespeare and The Ruined Maid by Hardy contain several devices such as style, rhyme scheme, speaker, and central ideas in which the reader can compare and contrast literary devices used in different eras of the mastery craft of poetry. The poem It Was a Lover and His Lass by Shakespeare expresses thoughts and feelings of a single narrator, speaks on the topic of love, and has musical qualities making it a lyric poem. This lyric poem also consists of ending rhyming words.
For example, each stanza is composed of six lines in which the first and the third line rhyme the last word such as “ lass” (1) and “ pass . ” (3) Shakespeare also makes use of repetition in the final three lines of each respective stanza, “ With a hey, and a ho, and hey nonimo,” is repeated by Shakespeare on the second line of each stanza. In addition, Shakespeare also uses repetition in the following lines, “ In the spring time, the only pretty ring time, / When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding: / Sweet lovers love spring. in the last three lines of each stanza. The poem tells a story of a lover (narrator) and his lass and their intimate encounters. Like many of Shakespeare’s use of word choice include informal language such as “ nonino,” which can if referred to a vagina. By using the word “ Lover” in the title it is clear the poem is intended for a mature audience. The Ruined Maid by Hardy is written with many exclamation points and quotation marks. The punctuation throughout the poem clearly identifies the poem for recital or singing purposes, a characteristic of ballad style.
Hardy’s poem is composed of six four-line stanzas. The rhyme scheme of the poem consists of an AABB that is carried throughout each stanza. For example in the first stanza the last word in line one, “ crown! ” rhymes with the last word in line two, “ Town? ” also the word “ prosperi-ty? ” the last word in line three rhymes with the word “ she” the last and final word of the stanza. This poem is mostly presented in a 3rd person point of view, Melia the main character of the poem is telling the story, but comments in every fourth line of each stanza.
Hardy also uses repetition in his poem, for example, each stanza ends with “ ruin” or “’ruined,” said she. ’” The Ruined Maid contains a dramatic dialogue and has verbal comments between two characters. “—“ I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown, And a delicate face, and could strut about Town! ”— “ My dear—a raw country girl, such as you be, Cannot quite expect that, You ain’t ruined,” said she. ” (21-24) In this case it is the farm maid speaking to Melia expressing she wants to be like her.
Hardy’s poem is for adult, it very indirectly mentions prostitution. Similar characteristics in both poems are the use of repetition in very distinct ways. Shakespeare repeats lines 2 and 3-6 in every stanza of It Was a Lover and His Lass, creating an enjoyable beat to his poem. Even though Shakespeare creates a good mood in this poem, it seems like more of a song more than an actual poem being that only two lines out of each stanza are different. Hardy uses repetition as well, but he only repeats three words at the end of each stanza.
Both poems were written during times when women had an insecure social position. I believe that the mere fact adultery was frowned upon during the 15th century gave Shakespeare an incentive to write on this topic, As for The Ruined Maid reveals the injustices that the Victorian era brought with it. Women performed demeaning labor in order to survive; becoming a prostitute “ ruined” them and put them in an even lower position than being a maid. In essence both literary pieces reviewed meet the characteristics following each writer.
William Shakespeare’s It Was a Lover and His Lass fulfilled the characteristics expected from a Shakespeare writing. The poem was rhythmic, had a comic melody, and was aiming for mature audiences as we are accustomed with other of his writings. Thomas Hardy’s The Ruined Maid demonstrated his style of writing. Hardy writes in a very pessimistic form, in this poem he exposed the injustices during the Victorian era. Both Shakespeare and hardy were able to use devices such as rhyme scheme, speaker, and give us a central idea to assist us in comparing and contrasting such literary pieces.