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A Study On The Frog Prince

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 655 words Published: 11th May 2017

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Throughout the analysis of “The Frog Prince” it has proved many different opinions on the poem. Stevie Smith’s poem was gravely affected by events in her life as well as her beliefs. However critics thought she took a chance when using a fairy tale as the base for such a morbid topic such as death. This is considered one highlight of her career.

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Stevie Smith’s background influenced all of her works greatly. Especially “The Frog Prince,” as death and her role in life were greatly questioned throughout her life. To pursue a life as a shipmaster her father left her at a very young age. Her mother then moved them in with an Aunt. Only short thereafter she became hospitalized, and then passed away. From then on Smith lived with her aunt, only seeing her mother a couple of times before she died. Stevie Smith suffered many illnesses through her childhood and life. In later years she suffered bouts of depression. She won the Queens Gold Medal for Poetry in 1969. As well she is known as a post war writer. Hallet explained that, while working for George Newnes, magazine publishers, she tried to commit suicide while at work and was forced to retire in the year 1953 (Hallet, par. 16). She would later die of an inoperable brain tumor in 1971.

After all, Allyson Booth states Smith was known for using well known short stories (Booth, par. 12). However when using these simple stories she manipulates them so the morals of are ironic to the morals of the original story. Stevie Smith wrote “The Frog Prince” in free verse. Through it she used many literary devices like personification, repetition, and analogies. According to Julie Whitsitt, the theme throughout this well-written poem is the gratifying thought of ones demise (Whitsitt, par. 12). However many critics consider it gravely morbid. Whitsitt states that it is a taboo subject where Smith came to an uncommon conviction (Whitsitt, par. 12). Booth explains that Smith’s works usually iterate the same few topics such as spinsterhood and sexuality (Booth, par. 6). Death was also a common topic of Smith’s throughout her career. Calvin Bedient states that the comicality of “The Frog Prince” hones the anguish of the topic (Calvin Bedient 305). Calvin Bedient explains in the “The Frog Prince” “…enchantment is oppression, a spell of non-transcendence” (Bedient 305). Stevie Smith uses desolate monotones. It is clear she values bereaved humor.

However, after analyzing “The Frog Prince” it is apparent it has a lot to do with preparing for heaven. The repeated word heavenly that shows upthroughout this poem puts emphasis on the belief. Other very important words throughout the poem are enchanted and disenchanted and happy which all hold a lot of meaning. When he uses the word happy he means more of otherworldly. As the frog can only go so far in his normal life and he has accomplished all he has been able to. Stevie Smith uses irony well throughout this poem. The Frog feels it’s time to move on to heaven to become something greater. The first stanza he describes his boring normal life then the next stanza he shifts to saying the changes that are to take place and what he must do to achieve a greater being. If a narrator were to read this aloud it would sound very whimsical, even darkly humorous.

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Consequently after analyzing this poem the ending conclusion is that though this poem is a morbid topic it is very well-written. Stevie Smith’s “The Frog Prince” was very affected by events in Smith’s own life but this proved to be a good thing, making the poem more personal. The poem was affected by Smith’s own life and I believe that makes it more personal not just to her but to all of us. She used the fairy tale story very well to illustrate such a morbid topic. Smith uses irony very well. This poem is grave, darkly humorous but puts emphasis on the topic.


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