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She Walks in Beauty Activity

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Presentation on theme: "She Walks in Beauty Activity"— Presentation transcript:

1 She Walks in Beauty Activity
George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. 1788–1824 (this poem written in 1814)

2 The Maths of Beauty

3 TASK: a) Get in a group. b) Write down these 2 lines.
c) Answer the following. Content: What do these lines say? Form: How it says it? Through techniques. Effect: What has been achieved? What do we understand and feel from the use of these techniques?

4 She walks in beauty, like the night   
Of cloudless climes and starry skies

5 Background on inspiration…
The poem was written after Byron had seen Mrs Wilmot Horton in a ballroom. She was in mourning, wearing a black dress set with spangles, which would explain the opening lines; “She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies” However, Nathan, in his reminiscences of Byron, indicates that the subject of the poem may have been Byron's half-sister, Augusta.

6 Answers for content She is a dark lady of beauty and mystery.

7 Answers for form Two lines of iambic tetrameter ‘/’/’/’/, the first a run-on line, eg ‘the night/Of cloudless climes’ Simile, eg ‘like the night’ Alliteration, eg ‘cloudless climes’, ‘starry skies’ (sibilance) Only three words of more than one syllable.

8 Answers for effect Night and lady are linked by a simile, so the lady is presumably as dark as the night. The night is cloudless, starry (an image reinforced by the alliteration of ‘cloudless climes’ and ‘starry skies’), and because the lady and night are linked, the lady is given a cool, aloof, yet glowing beauty of the night. The linking of the only worlds of more than one syllable, ‘beauty’, ‘cloudless’ and ‘starry’, further emphasises this beauty. MORE ON NEXT SLIDE >

9 Answers for effect Because the line structure tends to throw greater emphasis on the first and last word of the line, the night and the lady are even more strongly linked. Because she walks ‘in beauty’ it is as if the lady and the night are ‘clothed’ in beauty: beauty is made tangible, concrete and thus more accessible. The poet is constrained by the lines to economise on words; we are not told who she is, there is no introduction: this give the line immediacy and focus, intensifying the image’ it also creates a mood of mystery about the lady. MORE ON NEXT SLIDE >

10 Answers for effect The first line does not complete the image but runs on into the second, so tension is maintained giving the lines momentum, and holding them and the image they contain, together. The form into which the content has been shaped has allowed us to ‘see’ her, in all her dark beauty and dignity. She is now much more real to us, yet in a sense even more mysterious.

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