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Compare and Contrast

  • Word Count: 1050
  • Approx Pages: 4

Comparison of “To a Skylark” and “Ode to a Nightingale”

In “To a Skylark”, by Percy Shelley, the speaker is addressing a skylark. The first footnote mentions that the “European skylark is a small bird that sings only in flight, often when it is too high to be visible.” (765) The speaker goes on to describe the skylark as “That from heaven, or near it/ Pourest they full heart/ In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.” (765) He calls the bird “blithe spirit” because he hears the song from above and imagines it from heaven or near it.
Shelley uses many similes in this poem. In line 35 he writes, “Like a Poet hidden/In the light of thought/Singing hymns unbidden/ Till the world is wrought/To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:” (766) He compares the skylark to a poet, then goes on to compare the skylark to a “highborn maiden/In a palace tower/ soothing her love-laden/ Soul in secret hour/ With music as sweet as love-which overflows her bower:” (766) A maiden is sometimes described as “Fresh; innocent; unpolluted; pure; hitherto unused” ( When he compares the skylark to a maiden, he is describing something so pure, so beautiful that it has never been tainted. He next compares the skylark to a glow-worm. The female glow-worm emits light from some abdominal sections. The male is supposed to be attracted to the female because of the light. He thinks of the skylark as golden, emitting light, attracting others to the light. Shelley also compares the skylark to “ a rose embowered/ In its own green leaves-/ By warm winds deflowered-/ Till the scent it gives/ Makes faint with too much sweet those heavy-winged thieves.” (766) The rose is encased in green leaves until the wind blows them open. The skylark is quiet until it is in flight. The rose is beautiful when it is open from the leaves so it can be seen and the skylark makes no noise unless it is in flight, and the skylark is...

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Compare and Contrast. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:55, February 14, 2016, from