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Shakespeare and Frost - Masters of their Trade

Uploaded by reeva_ on Nov 21, 2000

“The art of the poet is to explore the very questions of human existence”. The art of poetry is a deep and involved process, which when used properly to infer an existentialist message, can turn lines of ink into a work of art. Major and famous authors of times past and present have frequently, and continue to deal with these issues of human existence. Two of these masters, William Shakespeare and Robert Frost are examples of writers who have made the step from poetry to works of art. This is shown in Frost’s On a Tree Fallen Across the Road and in Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 30 where major existentialist and metaphysical themes are dealt with.

Frost’s On a Tree Fallen Across the Road, includes major metaphysical and existentialist themes that are clearly portrayed by the poet, Frost, in a story about travellers who’s journey has been bared by a hurdle, represented by a fallen tree.

“The tree the tempest with a crash of wood,
Thrown down in front of us is not to bar
Our passage to our journeys end for good.”

The first three lines of this stanza already expose this existentialist message. When read literally we see a group of travellers whose passage has been impeded by a tree which has fallen across the path of these travellers, however when we read deeper into the passage we find Frost referring to “Our journey”, a term commonly used in existential writing as a description of life, and the tree a representation of the problems or hurdles faced in life. In his poetry Frost commonly refers to life as “his journey” and in this instance Frost has written about the unexpected challenges, distractions and hurdles thrown into life, which can side track or take our minds of the “journey” at hand. Frost continues his existentialist theme by going on to say:

“We will not be put off our final goal
We have it hidden in us to obtain.”

Frost believes that every individual has the ability to reach the goals they have set while on their “journey”, and every person needs to have goals set, otherwise their would be no need to partake this journey, therefore answering this question “why are we here”, and along with his use of natural imagery, simple language and symbolism Frost is able to deal with the major existentialist question and concepts.

While Frost dealt with the ideas...

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Uploaded by:   reeva_

Date:   11/21/2000

Category:   Shakespeare

Length:   3 pages (696 words)

Views:   1601

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