English / Thomas Hardy'S &Quot;A Trampwoman'S Tragedy&Quot; And Lord Byron'S &Quot;When We Two Parted&Quot;

Thomas Hardy'S &Quot;A Trampwoman'S Tragedy&Quot; And Lord Byron'S &Quot;When We Two Parted&Quot;

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Autor:  anton  21 June 2011
Tags:  Thomas,  Hardys,  Trampwomans,  Tragedy
Words: 1046   |   Pages: 5
Views: 521

Lord Byron's "When we two parted" and Thomas Hardy's "A Trampwoman's Tragedy" have in common a lover's regret for love lost. However, the main narrators in these poems are very different and the circumstances in their poems show a lot about the difference that social class and gender make in the love lives seen in "When we two parted" and "A Trampwoman's Tragedy". Looking at the tone, narrator gender, and setting of these poems the reader can see how a single general theme, regret over a lost lover, gets explored in very different ways.

Both poems are in first person narration which helps lend a higher degree of credibility to the description of the intimate details and emotions. While the poems are in first person, the tone of both poems is far from the same. In Lord Byron's the narrator is a man who is ashamed and sad. He is ashamed for the love affair between him and the woman he speaks of: "I hear thy name spoken, / And share in the shame"(15-16). The man knows what he did was morally wrong and hearing the woman's name only reminds him of his wrong doings with her. When the two parted their ways the man is overcome with grief: "When we two parted / In silence and tears, / Half broken-hearted" (1-3). The man is left crying because she has left him; he truly loved her and the loss of her is breaking his heart. Most men wouldn't let themselves show this emotion when their love affair has ended.

In Hardy's poem the narrator is a woman who is very easy going and it has a light tone towards the beginning but a heavy tone towards the end. The woman does a lot of traveling and stops at various inns along the way:

We jaunted on,-

My fancy-man, and jeering John,

And Mother Lee, and I.

And, as the sun drew down to west,

We climbed the toilsome Poldon crest,

And saw, of landskip sights the best,

The inn that beamed thereby. (9-16)

She has no cares in the world which allows her to travel from one place to another with her lover when she is not married. The tone at the beginning of the poem is very light and joyous:

For months we had padded side by side,

Ay, side by side

Through the Great Forest, Blackmoor wide,

And where the Parrat ran,

We'd faced the guest on Mendip ridge,

Had crossed the Yeo unhelped by bridge,

Been stung by every Marshwood midge,

I and my fancy-man.(17-24)

The way she uses certain words, such as "Ay," makes this passage light and carefree. The term "fancy-man" is a joyous nickname for her lover and is repeated several times throughout the poem. The tone changes in a tavern one night while playing a joke on her lover: "Then up he sprung, and with his knife- / And with his knife / He let out jeering Johnny's life." (65-67) Her lover kills Johnny, a friend traveling with them over the past months, over her cruel joke, which eventually kills her lover and herself when he is put to death by hanging. She became depressed and lonely by the end of the poem.

The narrators in both stories are at one point sad, gloomy, depressed and miss the ones they love. Lord Byron's narrator is like this throughout the poem because his lover is gone from the beginning. Hardy's narrator, on the other hand, takes a twist from her happiness to the gloomy and depressing state she is in by the end of the poem. Lord Byron's male narrator and Hardy's female narrator differed in many ways. Lord Byron's male was of the upper class which is evident from the language used and the secrecy of their affair: "In secret we met- / In silence I grieve, / That thy heart could forget" (25-27). Since they met in secret he had no one to lean on for emotional support to heal his broken heart. The man also is able to see and understand his mistake of having sex outside of marriage by keeping it secret; he realizes sex outside of marriage is morally corrupt. The language is very proper and well spoken that only educated people would have. Hardy's female is of a lower class and does not realize her mistakes in having a sexual relationship outside of marriage:

'One word,

My lady, if you please!

Whose is the child you are like to bear?-

His? After all my months o' care?' (59-62)

She is already pregnant by her lover and not married to him. She loves him but has not married him.

Setting plays an important role in both poems. Setting in these poems helps the reader picture and dramatize the events happening. Lord Byron's poem doesn't give a specific location but does tell us at what time of day it is: " The dew of the morning / Sunk chill on my brow-" (9-10). It tells the reader it's morning, so they possibly met in the early morning hours before sunrise to not be seen, and the dew suggests that it's spring time. Hardy's poem changes settings several times throughout: "From Wynyard's Gap the livelong day, / the livelong day, / We beat afoot the northward way" (1-3). They started on a twenty mile hike to take them to: "The inn that beamed thereby" (16). While traveling to these small inns they would stop in a tavern, which is the main tone changing setting of the poem: "The tavern tells the gloomy tale" (73). The tavern is where her lover kills Johnny after her cruel joke. Once everyone has either been killed or passed away she is left to "Haunting the Western Moor." (104) She is alone with no lover, no friends and no child in a mossy graveyard like field to live out the rest of her days.

Both Byron's "When we two parted" and Hardy's "A Trampwoman's Tragedy" are about love and the experience of a premarital sexual relationship. Although they were similar in some ways they took two different paths when looking at the tone, narrator gender, and setting of these poem.

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