How Villainy is
1.1 The word 'slippered' is
used to describe the
incident in which the
character hits his
daughter with a slipper
1.2 The word 'quid' is used in place of
pounds when the poem describes the
incident in which he steals from his mother
1.3 This is used to show how a person whose exterior seems normal and kind, can
actually be someone who is very devious and cruel. Our first impressions of
people do not give us an accurate idea of who they are.
2.1 All of the man's good deeds are described first for
three lines, then on the fourth line, one of his
villainous deeds is described.
2.2 This suggests how the first
thing others notice about the
character are the good deeds
that he has done throughout
2.2.1 However, it also shows that people still remember the bad
things this man has done - but it seems that these people
brush off these bad deeds as a result. Armitage could be
pointing out that this is wrong because no matter how many
good deeds a person does, it does not cancel out the bad
things, These will weigh on one's conscience forever unless
they can rectify it.
2.3 None of the sentences are in full,
to make it feel like these things
could be happening very close to
home, as though actions such as
these happen with ordinary, day to
3 The final lines
3.1 The poem is a sonnet, and in
traditional sonnets, the last two
lines are left separate to the other
stanzas. This is to increase their
importance and to make the reader
really think about those final
4 Compared to Macbeth
5 Severity of the actions
5.1 "And once, for laughing, punched her in the face"
5.2 "And slippered her the one time that she lied"
5.3 The character seems to take drastic action and resorts to
violence even though the things that his wife and child have
done seem small and insignificant. He attacks his wife for
doing something as simple as laughing, and a normal person
would not do such a thing, which suggests how villainous
this character's action is.