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Robert Frost Home Burial – The Three Tragedies of Home Burial

The Three Tragedies of Home Burial

Robert Frost’s “Home Burial” is a narrative poem that speaks of life’s tragedies. The theme of “Home Burial” centers around the death of a child. During the time period in which the poem is set, society dictated that men did not show their feelings. Therefore, men dealt with conflicts by working hard and being domineering. “Home Burial” demonstrates how one tragedy can cause another to occur.

The unnamed couple in this poem has lost a baby to death. The mother grieves openly, and it could be said that she has never recovered from this loss; bereaved parents never forget, but most people in this position gradually work out a way of dealing with their grief, and go on with their lives. This the young mother cannot do. The baby is buried in the family graveyard, which is visible from an upstairs window of their house. Day after day she goes to the stairway window looking out upon the nearby family plot. The sight of the raw mound where her child lies buried reopens her grief. But, another emotion wells up as well – anger and bitterness at her husband, which is at first unexplained. The first hint of the rift between them shows up on lines twelve to thirteen, she “refused him any help, with the least stiffening of her neck and silence.” Their dialogue is cold and antagonistic. “What is it—what? /Just that I see. / You don’t, she challenged. /Tell me what it is.”(18-19). The death of child, which should bind husband and wife closer in their common grief, pries them apart instead (Gerber 128).

In the husband’s first two lines as wells his last one, his attitude toward his wife is domineering and seems insensitive. First he tells her ” he wants to know” what she keeps looking at …

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…n the mind’s eye one could see the gravel sliding back into the hole. We could actually visualize the mound getting higher.

There were three different tragedies that transpired throughout this poem. The burial of the child was first; second was the burial of the marriage and finally the most symbolic and ironic tragedy is the burial of the home. Because of unfortunate circumstances these three things became closely associated with the home being buried. All of these tragedies occurred as a result of the child’s burial. The couple’s marriage could not survive such an emotional loss. Therefore the marriage becomes buried. When the marriage became buried the home became its own burial spot for this family’s life.

Works Cited:

Frost, Robert. 1972. “Home Burial.” Robert Frost’s Poetry and Prose. Ed. Edward Connery Latham and Lawrence Thompson. New York: Holt.

Lady Macbeth

Shakespeare portrays Lady Macbeth differently throughout the play. Before the murder of Duncan, she is more naïve and pure compared to after the murder of King Duncan, where she starts the road to insanity and nervousness. At the very start of the play during Act 1 Scene 5, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have a very close relationship and they would tell each other anything. At the start of the scene, Lady Macbeth is reading a letter from her husband, Macbeth. Within the letter Macbeth tells her a lot of sensitive information such as the fact that he came across three witches who prophesised that he would become king, this sort of information could get him – or both of them into serious trouble, since back in Shakespearian times kings were thought to have been directly appointed by god, and trying to alter that would be a crime. This shows that Macbeth sees her as trustworthy and loyal. She responds to the information with a soliloquy in which she says “It is too full of the milk of human kindness” when referring to his personality and mannerisms. The use of the word “milk” connotes goodness and purity, and the best of it at that. Later she responds to his prophesy of becoming king by suggesting that only bad things and evil can come out of him taking the throne. She Says “Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it; what thou wouldest highly.” Which suggests the idea of him becoming king would effect and worry her from the beginning.

Towards the beginning, Lady Macbeth is also presented ad powerful and strong, she says “Under my battlements” when talking about killing Duncan. For one, battlements are often associated with war and fighting, which require a certain amount of power to commit, and when they are f…

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…s, That tend on mortal thoughts unsex me here And fill me from the crown to toe top full Of direst cruelty.” However, when the king arrives, Lady Macbeth is welcoming and kind to the king, she says “All our service in every point twice done and then done double” when addressing the king. She sucks up to him as soon as he arrives, which creates a bond of trust and security, and gives a false sense of security to the king.

In conclusion, after analysing the contrasting presentations of Lady Macbeth I have shown how certain events have had a massive influence on the mannerisms and mental state of her character. Macbeth is the tragic hero; mainly good yet thanks to the weakness of his character towards his wife, falls victim to an untimely death. Lady Macbeth is portrayed as so maliciously evil at the start that we find it a true challenge to forgive her at the end.

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