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Compare Language in Extract from 'The Prelude' and other Poems

In this worksheet, students will exercise their language comparison skills between 'The Prelude' and other poems.

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Want to compare your language comparison skills in Extract from 'The Prelude'​ and other poems in your 'Power and Conflict'?

 

 

Thought bubble

 

 

Well, you've come to the right place. In this activity, you'll practise comparing the way poets use language to convey similar and contrasting attitudes and ideas. 

 

 

In your exam, you'll do really well to compare the way that poets use language to present their attitudes. You'll do even better if you can compare the way they use language to show different/similar attitudes and ideas. You'll do the best if you can compare the language that is used and how it's used.

 

 

 

 

Here's an example of some good language comparison:

 

In Extract from 'The Prelude', Wordsworth uses the technique of personification to highlight the power of nature. For example, the quote "and growing still in stature the grim shape" emphasises the power of nature- the speaker believes the mountain is alive because of his fear. In fact, the mountain seems to be growing into something monstrous. Similarly, in the poem 'Exposure', Owen also uses the technique of personification in the quote "pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling for our faces". This further highlights nature's power and the harm it can cause. In both poems, nature is personified as something frightening and monstrous. More than this, nature seems to single out the speaker with the intention of inflicting pain and harm.

"My boat went heaving through the water like a swan"

 

 

In the poem Extract from 'The Prelude', Wordsworth uses similes.

 

Tick one other poem which uses similes.

 

'Checking Out Me History'

'Bayonet Charge'

'Ozymandias'

In Extract from 'The Prelude', Wordsworth uses the technique of alliteration of the letter 'L' in "small circles glittering idly in the moon".

 

What other poem uses alliteration of the letter 'L'? Write the number down below.

1. 'Storm on the Island' ("...we build our houses squat")

2. 'Kamikaze' ("till gradually we too learned to be silent")

3. 'Ozymandias' ("my name is Ozymandias, King of Kings") 

4. 'War Photographer' ("all flesh is grass")

In Extract from 'The Prelude' Wordsworth presents the theme of memory.

 

Which two other poems from the selection below also presents this theme? Write the title of the one poem in the text box below.

 

'Remains'

'Charge of the Light Brigade'

'The Emigree'

'London'

'Checking out Me History'

In Extract from 'The Prelude', Wordsworth uses sibilance:

 

"Towered up between me and the stars, and still, for so it seemed..."

 

 

What other poem in the list below use sibilance? Write the name of the correct poem, below.

 

'My Last Duchess'

'War Photographer'

'Ozymandias'

'Kamikaze'

How do Extract from 'The Prelude' and 'Exposure' differ?

 

Pick one from the options below. Put the correct number in the text box:

 

1. Where Extract from 'The Prelude' uses a semantic field of natural imagery to present nature as influential and life-changing, 'Exposure' uses a semantic field of natural imagery to present nature as a bleak, harmful and murderous force.

 

2. Both Extract from 'The Prelude' and 'Exposure' use natural imagery to present nature as harmful, scary and life-changing.

How does Extract from 'The Prelude' compare with 'Storm on the Island'.

 

Pick one option from below. Write the correct number in the text box.

 

1. In both poems, the speaker presents nature as intimidating and terrifying through personification. In 'The Prelude' language such as "growing", "grim" and "strode" gives the mountain an intimidating feel. In 'Storm on the Island' there is a similar portrayal of nature. Language such as "tragic", "savage" and "spits" presents nature as something dangerous or harmful. However, the speaker in 'The Prelude' feels "trouble" after witnessing the mountain. On the other hand, the speaker in 'Storm on the Island' feels "nothing". 

 

2. In both poems, the speaker presents nature as intimidating and terrifying through personification. In 'The Prelude' language such as "growing", "grim" and "strode" gives the mountain an intimidating feel. In 'Storm on the Island' there is a similar portrayal of nature. Language such as "tragic", "savage" and "spits" presents nature as something dangerous and harmful. Both speakers feel the same sense of fear and intimidation.

How does Extract from 'The Preludeand 'War Photographer' use emotive language in their poems? 

 

Write the one correct number in the text box.

 

1. Wordsworth, in 'The Prelude' goes from using pleasant emotive language such as "pleasure" and "sparkling" to unpleasant, "grave", "serious", "spectacle" and "trouble" to convey the speaker's sadness. 'War Photographer', on the other hand, consistently uses unpleasant emotive language, with words such as "suffering", "flesh", "cries" and "agonies" to convey that the speaker is unhappy.

 

2. Wordsworth, in 'The Prelude' goes from using pleasant emotive language such as "pleasure" and "sparkling" to unpleasant, "grave", "serious", "spectacle" and "trouble" to convey the shift in his emotions from ignorant and happy, to more serious and awakened to convey his growth. 'War Photographer', on the other hand, consistently uses unpleasant emotive language, with words such as "suffering", "flesh", "cries" and "agonies", to convey the speaker's ongoing trauma.

Tick the devices which belong to Extract from 'The Prelude' and 'London'. Some are shared.

 

 Semantic Field of NatureSemantic Field of SexualityRepetition of LanguageMetaphors and Symbolism
'London'
'The Prelude'

Name one other poem where, like Extract from 'The Prelude', there is a semantic field of sexuality.

 

Choose the correct poem in the list below.

 

'Kamikaze'

'Charge of the Light Brigade'

'My Last Duchess'

'Checking Out Me History'

Last one! A little bit easier, this time.

 

 

Tick three language devices which link Extract from 'The Prelude' and 'Ozymandias'

Sibilance

Sexual language

Direct speech

Motif of solitude

Motif of the power of nature

Positive and pleasant imagery

  • Question 1

"My boat went heaving through the water like a swan"

 

 

In the poem Extract from 'The Prelude', Wordsworth uses similes.

 

Tick one other poem which uses similes.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
'Bayonet Charge'
EDDIE SAYS
Extract from 'The Prelude' and 'Bayonet Charge' both use similes. The impact of similes in both poems is that it paints a vivid image for the reader. However, the similes used in Extract from 'The Prelude' are more graceful and show the effect of nature, whereas those used in 'Bayonet Charge' have a more gruesome effect.
  • Question 2

In Extract from 'The Prelude', Wordsworth uses the technique of alliteration of the letter 'L' in "small circles glittering idly in the moon".

 

What other poem uses alliteration of the letter 'L'? Write the number down below.

1. 'Storm on the Island' ("...we build our houses squat")

2. 'Kamikaze' ("till gradually we too learned to be silent")

3. 'Ozymandias' ("my name is Ozymandias, King of Kings") 

4. 'War Photographer' ("all flesh is grass")

CORRECT ANSWER
2
EDDIE SAYS
The quote in 'Kamikaze' - "till gradually we too learned to be silent" used the alliteration of the letter 'L', similarly to Extract from 'The Prelude'. In both, a slow and flowing effect is created. How does the alliteration of the letter 'L' create a different effect in the two poems?
  • Question 3

In Extract from 'The Prelude' Wordsworth presents the theme of memory.

 

Which two other poems from the selection below also presents this theme? Write the title of the one poem in the text box below.

 

'Remains'

'Charge of the Light Brigade'

'The Emigree'

'London'

'Checking out Me History'

CORRECT ANSWER
Remains
'Remains'
The Emigree
'The Emigree'
EDDIE SAYS
Both 'Remains' and 'The Emigree' portray the theme of memory and its power. In 'Remains', the technique of repetition ("probably armed possibly not" and "his bloody life in my bloody hand") emphasises the theme of memory. The repetition of phrases gives the poem a cyclical effect. The speaker is remembering his past. In 'The Emigree', the speaker's memory is seen as positive, despite the war and damage that has occurred in her city. Sensory imagery and similes are used when describing her city, which helps a reader vividly picture the city in the same way she imagined it as a child.
  • Question 4

In Extract from 'The Prelude', Wordsworth uses sibilance:

 

"Towered up between me and the stars, and still, for so it seemed..."

 

 

What other poem in the list below use sibilance? Write the name of the correct poem, below.

 

'My Last Duchess'

'War Photographer'

'Ozymandias'

'Kamikaze'

CORRECT ANSWER
Ozymandias
'Ozymandias'
EDDIE SAYS
The plosive alliteration in 'Ozymandias', "boundless and bare", creates a harsh sound in the poem. It emphasises Ozymandias' unpleasant nature. Just like the example quoted 'The Prelude', 'Ozymandias' also uses sibilance in the poem - "two vast and trunkless legs of stone" again, a harsh sound is created. However in 'The Prelude' sibilance seems to create a more hushed, gentle sound as if the speaker is whispering. So, in both poems, the same technique is used, but with different intent and effect.
  • Question 5

How do Extract from 'The Prelude' and 'Exposure' differ?

 

Pick one from the options below. Put the correct number in the text box:

 

1. Where Extract from 'The Prelude' uses a semantic field of natural imagery to present nature as influential and life-changing, 'Exposure' uses a semantic field of natural imagery to present nature as a bleak, harmful and murderous force.

 

2. Both Extract from 'The Prelude' and 'Exposure' use natural imagery to present nature as harmful, scary and life-changing.

CORRECT ANSWER
1
EDDIE SAYS
One is the correct answer. In both poems, you have the same semantic use of natural imagery. However, look at the different ways that nature plays in both poems, especially considering the speaker's attitudes towards nature.
  • Question 6

How does Extract from 'The Prelude' compare with 'Storm on the Island'.

 

Pick one option from below. Write the correct number in the text box.

 

1. In both poems, the speaker presents nature as intimidating and terrifying through personification. In 'The Prelude' language such as "growing", "grim" and "strode" gives the mountain an intimidating feel. In 'Storm on the Island' there is a similar portrayal of nature. Language such as "tragic", "savage" and "spits" presents nature as something dangerous or harmful. However, the speaker in 'The Prelude' feels "trouble" after witnessing the mountain. On the other hand, the speaker in 'Storm on the Island' feels "nothing". 

 

2. In both poems, the speaker presents nature as intimidating and terrifying through personification. In 'The Prelude' language such as "growing", "grim" and "strode" gives the mountain an intimidating feel. In 'Storm on the Island' there is a similar portrayal of nature. Language such as "tragic", "savage" and "spits" presents nature as something dangerous and harmful. Both speakers feel the same sense of fear and intimidation.

CORRECT ANSWER
1
EDDIE SAYS
Number one is correct. So, both poems use a semantic field/motif of nature, but in both cases, the speaker responds differently. In 'The Prelude' nature is a catalyst for the speaker (a life-changing thing), which causes his whole outlook on life to change. Afterward, Wordsworth sees "huge and mighty forms". On the other hand, the speaker in 'Storm on the Island' acknowledges the powerful effect of the storm. But, the last line, "strange, it is a huge nothing that we fear" cements the fact that he seems not to be scared of the storm.
  • Question 7

How does Extract from 'The Preludeand 'War Photographer' use emotive language in their poems? 

 

Write the one correct number in the text box.

 

1. Wordsworth, in 'The Prelude' goes from using pleasant emotive language such as "pleasure" and "sparkling" to unpleasant, "grave", "serious", "spectacle" and "trouble" to convey the speaker's sadness. 'War Photographer', on the other hand, consistently uses unpleasant emotive language, with words such as "suffering", "flesh", "cries" and "agonies" to convey that the speaker is unhappy.

 

2. Wordsworth, in 'The Prelude' goes from using pleasant emotive language such as "pleasure" and "sparkling" to unpleasant, "grave", "serious", "spectacle" and "trouble" to convey the shift in his emotions from ignorant and happy, to more serious and awakened to convey his growth. 'War Photographer', on the other hand, consistently uses unpleasant emotive language, with words such as "suffering", "flesh", "cries" and "agonies", to convey the speaker's ongoing trauma.

CORRECT ANSWER
2
EDDIE SAYS
If you picked answer two, well done! Both poems use emotive language, but, in 'The Prelude' emotive language signifies a shift in the speaker's mood. In 'War Photographer' there seems to be a continuous sense of traumatic, emotive language which conveys the speaker's negative emotions.
  • Question 8

Tick the devices which belong to Extract from 'The Prelude' and 'London'. Some are shared.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
 Semantic Field of NatureSemantic Field of SexualityRepetition of LanguageMetaphors and Symbolism
'London'
'The Prelude'
EDDIE SAYS
Hopefully, this table will help you revise the differences and similarities. Remember, differences are equally as important as similarities. And if these distances and similarities are expressed through language, structure and even form then try and find a way to explain how. The simplest explanation will do- start from there and then you can go into detail and start linking language features to themes.
  • Question 9

Name one other poem where, like Extract from 'The Prelude', there is a semantic field of sexuality.

 

Choose the correct poem in the list below.

 

'Kamikaze'

'Charge of the Light Brigade'

'My Last Duchess'

'Checking Out Me History'

CORRECT ANSWER
My Last Duchess
'My Last Duchess'
EDDIE SAYS
'My Last Duchess', just like the beginning of 'The Prelude' contains a semantic field of sexuality. The Duke basically hints that his wife cheated on him, using suggestive language such as "half flush", "throat" "passion" and "blush". These words convey the Duke's own jealousy and disgust. In 'The Prelude', the first half of the poem also uses quite suggestive sexual language. We have words such as "pleasure" "lustily" "dipped" and "heaving". Wordsworth seems to be alluding to his own sexual awakening, as the poem emphasises the transition from child to man, symbolising an awakening. Both poems use a semantic field of sexuality (through metaphor) quite differently. Where, in 'My Last Duchess', the language the Duke uses becomes an attack on the Duchess, 'The Prelude' uses sexual language to symbolise a change or growth.
  • Question 10

Last one! A little bit easier, this time.

 

 

Tick three language devices which link Extract from 'The Prelude' and 'Ozymandias'

CORRECT ANSWER
Sibilance
Motif of solitude
Motif of the power of nature
EDDIE SAYS
Both poems share a range of language devices. Think about how these language devices show similar/different themes!
---- OR ----

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