Pupil Analysis – Song (Yolomon)

Another essay submitted by Yolomon, this time about poetry thankfully!

As always, my comments are in red and you’ll find an overall comment and mark at the end of the post.


Q: Explore how lack of hope is conveyed in ‘Song‘ by Lady Mary Wroth.


In ‘Song’ Lady Mary Wroth aims to convey the lack of hope she holds in the emotion of love. Love’s never ending list of demands, inability to fulfil promises and its sadistic nature all contribute to the poet’s perception of love. (an excellent introduction that slightly loses track just at the end there. If you just added the word hopeless it would’ve been magnificent: … contribute to the poet’s perception of love as being hopeless)

The demanding nature of love is put forth by the visual image of a ‘’child crying’’. Using child (missing article here – ‘a’) as a metaphor for love helps show its demanding nature. (excellent, but drill into this. Make it clear why babies are demanding… crying, unable to look after themselves, ungrateful etc) Given that the child is ‘’crying’’ implies loves inability to be a happy, pleasure and joy giving emotion as it keeps on demanding more and more from the lover. Moreover, upon pleasing love it is ‘’flying’’. The kinesthetic image of ‘’flying’’ connotes the joy it derives from having its demands met. However, despite pleasing love its satisfaction is temporary. (good, but again a little bit of room to go further with this – what happens when it is no longer flying? Hurtling to the earth, crashing?) This helps on emphasizing the lack of hope that Wroth keeps in love being requited and complete with no demands. (excellent that you’ve attempted an anchor sentence, but it is a little bit awkward. ‘This helps on emphasising’ is poor English, but would be understood. Also, I think the anchor is less clear than the rest of the paragraph. This helps to emphasise Wroth’s belief that love is a selfish and demanding emotion, rather than a positive and desirable emotion.)

Despite fulfilling love’s demands, it still, ‘’vows nothing but false matter’’. ‘’Vows’’ attribute the religious nature of the promises made, possibly in (the) form of marriage vows. However, love goes on to break these vows amplifying the sins that love commits. By showing that love can sin, it is apparent not to hold any hopes from love. (reread here, also make your comments a bit more focused on Wroth – Wroth connects love decisively with sin, thus presents it as an emotion we should not trust or retain hope of in order to provide us with happiness) The deceptive nature of love is further seen in the rhyme scheme of ‘’flatter’’ and ‘’matter’’. F alliteration in false and flatter emphasize on the fake, hopeless nature of love whilst matter shows the unreal or invisible nature of these promises. (? I don’t get this, how does the rhyme communicate this?) These broken promises leave the speaker losing hope in love. (good summation, but again make sure you acknowledge Wroth or the poet as creating this impression)

The speaker goes on to fulfil love’s demands and take care of love. When love is hurt it is the cause of ‘’failing’’ for the speaker. (deal with this, you’ve included a quotation, but not really analysed its significance in any way) In contrast the sadistic nature of love is shown by the ‘’glory’’ that love achieves by deceiving and hurting the speaker. (I’d make an additional comment here on how love is presented as being spiteful and cruel) By doing so love not only manages to obtain all that it requires, including sexual pleasure simply by manipulating the speaker emotionally. This goes on to show how the speaker loses hope in an equal love wherein both sides suffer and enjoy equally. She generalizes that all love is joyful for one side and suffering for the other. She thereby goes on to warn the speakers to dissipate any false hopes.

Wroth thereby warns the readers by advising not to ‘’seek’’ love. This is emphasized litotes of ‘’feathers’’ and ‘’wolves’’. (I’ve never heard that word before, but I don’t think it describes what is going on there. I think you are dealing with contrasting imagery of the chicken and the wolf, but not a litotes according to the definition I’ve just read – could be wrong here) By claiming that feathers are firm and wolves are not fierce in preying she emphasizes on (you never ’emphasise on’ you would emphasise the deceptive…) the deceptive, cunning and hopeless nature of love. She claims that it is better not to seek love ‘’flying’’. Flying are the high hopes that the speaker held at first only to be proven wrong. She goes on to advise that love should be left ‘’crying’’. This is ironic as its human nature to console a crying child. By neglecting basic human feelings towards the child it suggests the lack of expectations and hopes she holds from the child. She thereby advises on not going after a hopeless love due to lack of rewards.

Wroth successfully develops hopelessness towards love using her personal experiences. (have you touched on those experiences in the essay? I don’t think so – definitely something you could do though by linking her negative perception of love to an idea that she must have experience great pain and suffering at its hands.) She warns the readers not to approach love at all, to prevent any disappointment over expectations differing from the harsh reality. (I don’t think you have revisited your key arguments here – what about 1) love as selfish and demanding 2) falsity of love 3) cruel nature of love 4) advice warning of the danger – comparison with wolves)



This is an excellent essay with some really clear and well developed analysis. However, there are times when you don’t quite push your analysis as hard as you could, really probing an idea deeply and demonstrating the full extent of your ideas. In addition, I would really like to see your conclusion relating to the rest of your essay and recapping the key ideas to answer the question decisively.


Probe, probe, probe – do not assume an examiner will understand a point you are making. While babies are definitely demanding it is up to you to tell us how they are demanding and reflect on what this demonstrates about Wroth’s perception of love.

Phrasing – I know this was typed and that can lead to some mistakes, but I found a few instances where your sentences were missing words or just awkwardly phrased. In the exam just run over your essays and edit as appropriate.

Commenting on structure/rhyme scheme – you must make sure that you really explain this well as just putting it in for the sake of it could disrupt the quality of the rest of your analysis. In this essay I wouldn’t have missed it at all and possibly would’ve awarded a higher mark. Your comment was confusingly expressed and not at all convincing – better to leave it out if you can’t explain it.

Conclusion – this should not be just a quick rush to answer the question, but a carefully and focused recap of all the main points you have developed.

Band 3/2 Mark 19/25

This is a well developed and confident response throughout, but just misses those few opportunities to really dig into some golden analysis. It is clear the text has been understood and that you understand how the writer has created specific meaning and effect through language choices. All comments are firmly based on well chosen textual references.

iGCSE Mark Criteria

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