Compare and Contrast Helen- HD POE Essay

642 Words Feb 16th, 2014 3 Pages
Comparison and Contrast Essay
In the poems, “To Helen” and “Helen”, both Edgar Allan Poe and H.D. emphasize the beauty of the infamous Helen of Troy; however, the speakers’ attitudes differ as one praises and worships Helen while the other condemns her for her treachery and remains unmoved by her beauty. Although both poems discuss Helen of Troy, both speakers’ withhold different perspectives within the first stanza. In “To Helen” the speaker sets Helen on a pedestal as he uses the apostrophe “Helen, thy beauty is to me” (Poe, line 1). He emphasizes that he speaks to her as the title “To Helen” sets the praiseful tone within the poem. However, the unimpressed speaker of “Helen” displays the loss of connection to this famous woman as
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line 10) in which they long to forget. However, the enchanted speaker believes that Helen portrays the opposite as she is “the glory that was Greece” (Poe, line 9) and “the grandeur that was Rome” (Poe, line 10).
The varying structures in the third stanzas emphasize the differentiating views of Helen. The style and structure of “To Helen” contribute to the persona’s romantic notion of Helen of Troy. The stanza is set up like the rest with five lines that illustrate her beauty. She is an “agate lamp” (Poe, line 13) which shines light on Greece and she is “Psyche, from the regions”, “which Are Holy Land!” (Poe, lines 9 and 10). However the unmoved speaker uses just a simple sentence as the last stanza and lacks the exclamation points and a rhyme scheme which portrays the cold disapproval she were laid, white ash amid funereal cypresses. of Helen. The speaker believes that her “cold feet” and “slenderest knees” could not move Greece as opposed to the other speaker. He harshly believes that the only way that she can be praised for her beauty is if she was “laid, white ash amid funereal cypresses.” (H.D., line 17) In both the poems “ To Helen” and “Helen” the views of Helen—“the face that launched a thousand ships”, differs as her beauty praised as a heroine juxtaposes the belief that she remains a traitor. she were laid, white ash amid funereal cypresses. she were laid, white ash amid funereal cypresses. she were laid,
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