“After Apple-picking” Robert Frost and “Prospero’s Epilogue” by William Shakespeare Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 20 March 2017

“After Apple-picking” Robert Frost and “Prospero’s Epilogue” by William Shakespeare

There are simply a select few individuals in this world that could be considered as exceptional. There are many great names in the world of literature, but this paper would only focus on two great writers and their respective works.  William Shakespeare is considered by many as the greatest writer that has ever lived. He is even nicknamed “the immortal” by literature enthusiasts. On the other hand Robert Frost is a great poet, whose works had taken the poetry genre by storm. This paper will make a comparison of two works of these two great writers: Shakespeare’s Epilogue for Prospero and Frost’s “After Apple-Picking.”

            The two works were communicated under the same medium, poetry. Both works were utilizing poetic devices such as symbolism, imagery, alliteration, etc.

             The function of both works is to assault the emotions of the readers. “After Apple-Picking” is a poem about writing a poem. Frost tells the readers that writing poetry is an arduous task “I am overtired” (Line 29) But that tiredness of a poet could be relieved by the audience appreciation “of the great harvest I myself desired.”’

            The image of the many apples is a symbol for creativity. Frost is simply arguing that there is an abundance of creativity—the problem is that harvesting that creativity could tire out an artist.

            On the other hand, Shakespeare’s words through Prospero is specifically categorized as a soliloquy. This particular literary technique is made famous by Shakespearean plays, like in Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” soliloquy. A soliloquy is basically done when a character of the play directly addresses the audience. In traditional theater, there is the existence of the “fourth wall.”

The “fourth wall” is highly technical to discuss but it basically refers to the gap between the actors and the audience. In other terms, the reality in the stage is very far from the reality of real life. Formalistically in plays, a character should never interact with the audience, simply because it ruins the illusion. This may be the very deign of Shakespeare for Prospero’s soliloquy. Shakespeare does not want his work to be a mere illusion, he wanted it to be something real. And according to the text, what could make it real, or Prospero free, is only the applause of the audience.

Conclusion

Shakespeare’s message is no different with Frost’s. During Prospero’s epilogue, Prospero is simply asking for an applause to set him free “…without applause / my plan to please you has failed”

It is similar in both of the works to recognize that there is an audience. Both of them may have simply saying that the readers/audiences are just as important as the piece itself. If it was not for the appreciation of those who enjoy the beauty of words, literature would not exists.

References

Frost, Robert. “After Apple-picking”. Retrieved 5 June 2008

<http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~wldciv/world_civ_reader/world_civ_reader_2/frost_apple.html>

Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Retrieved 5 June 2008 <

shakespeare.mit.edu/tempest/full.html>

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  • Date: 20 March 2017

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