The Badger by John Clare
- Clare repeated words and phrases which may be contributed by him being known as the peasant’s poet.
- “Drive the rebels”
- This is an example of rhyming couplets and this limited range of vocabulary means that the user feels the words more prominently as they can understand them.
- This is also seen in the use of one syllable words through the poem. While insignificant, they are still important to the poem and how the story is told. This is strength to the poet as it portrays a simpler poem that is related to the topic.
- The poet also used dialect which is related to both him and to the topic of the poem. The dialect used gives a sense of the time period and also sets our attitudes to the subject.
- “Roots in bushes, and the woods”
- “They get a forked stick to bear him down”
- This dialect used by the poet is unsophisticated which reflects the subject. A country village with badger baiting is not something associated with education and good English.
- The sentence structure also reflects this time. The poet uses this to his advantage and is able to reflect the thoughts and events in the form of the poem.
- Even though the poet uses language to his advantage, he uses very little techniques in his poem. One which he uses effectively is onomatopoeia when the badger is captured by the crowd. The sound of the instruments and men and dogs are described well and help to realise the situation in the readers head.
- The most convenient form for Clare to portray his message and concern in the behaviour of crowd and badger, which the reader may then themselves generalise to other issues. It is written in 3, 14-line stanzas, with each stanza being a different event, taking you to a different scene involving the badger. This is so that the reader can explore the badger’s activity and helps build up sympathy later on in the poem.
- The poem is written in rhyming couplets, which highlights its strictly controlled and regular nature, as well as using iambic pentameter, which keeps the flow constant and simply expresses the crowd and badger’s actions.
- The poem ‘Badger’, uses third person personal pronouns such as ‘licks his feet’ and ‘his hold and cackles’. The badger is referred to as ‘he’ or ‘his’ which shows how Clare tries to personalise it and attempts to give it an identity to some extent. This is emphasised by the simple use of the third person personal pronoun, ‘they’, in sentences such as ‘they shout and hollow’