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Essay on Seamus Heaney as a Political Poet at Act of Union

Project id 1004620
Subject area Writing
Document type Essay
Words 2826
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Heaney isn't typically a democratic poet, using nonpartisan themes prominent in his poetry. But he violates this picture in Act of Union, together with Whatever You Say, Say Nothing, branching into more political topics. The reason for this was chiefly due to the Troubles in Ireland from the early 1960s, which mostly affected Heaney due to his function as a Northern Irish poet. He was also pressured by many supporters on his own view, which will be described in Anything You Say, Say Nothing. Although Act of Union is unmistakably one of Heaney's most political poems, it subtly provides the message of Heaney's prognosis about the Troubles through the dramatic monologue of England, introducing an ambiguous persona. Throughout the personification of England as masculine, dominant and overbearing, Heaney shows his negative view of England the political unrest in Ireland, particularly Northern Ireland. However, he (as England) defends himself , indicating she (Ireland) did not stand up for herself and 'had it coming'. On the flip side, through the personification and visual imagery of Ireland as feminine, Heaney is adhering to sex stereotypes and portraying Ireland because the passive victim. The personification of both countries acts as an extended metaphor of a familial or sexual relationship, delicately bringing Heaney's opinion of the Troubles. Act of Union starts with a calm, tender tone, together with 'To-night' producing romantic connotations. 'A first motion, a pulse' indicates a child from the uterus stirring, with 'heartbeat' indicating the heartbeat, yet also highlighting the sensual nuances. The caesuras slow down the speed of the first line, highlighting its apparently romantic quality, but might also signify humor, foreshadowing that the 'Troubl...

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