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Sunday, April 28, 2013

POETRY ESSAY PROMPT #1

Prompt: The following two poems are about Helen of Troy. Renowned in the ancient world for her beauty, Helen was the wife of Menelaus, a Greek King. She was carried off to Troy by the Trojan prince Paris, and her abduction was the immediate cause of the Trojan War. Read the two poems carefully. Considering such elements as speaker, diction, imagery, form, and tone, write a well-organized essay in which you contrast the speakers’ views of Helen.

I believe an intro paragraph along with shorts bits of how the thesis is supported in the body are enough practice for me to know what I would do with this prompt on an AP essay test.

When the poems of H.D. and Edgar Allan Poe regarding Helen are put side by side, it is plain to see they have differing views of Helen's story. Yet what is more intriguing is how these two authors establish their views in their use of literary elements  Ironically enough, the contrasting views they share are counterbalanced by the fact they both use similar techniques to display them. Both authors have strong use of diction and tone to present their separate ideals. While the diction and tone do differ, their techniques are the same nonetheless. Both authors use diction and tone to establish their different views, Poe the admirer, and H.D. the critic.


  • Poe uses a tone of admiration of Helen's beauty, constantly complimenting it, showing his view of admiration of Helen.
  • H.D.'s tone is more diminishing, as if Helen has done great wrong, showing his critical view of Helen.
  • Poe use a diction strong with appraisal words, such as "Beauty" and "Thy classic face" highlighting his stance on Helen.
  • H.D.'s is strong words against Helen. "All Greece hates" and "All Greece reviles"











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