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Critique Of "The Sheep Killer"

  • Submitted by: CuriousSugar
  • on February 18, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,051 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Critique Of "The Sheep Killer"" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Sheep- killer is a poem by Ernest G Moll that details how the sheep- dog who understands his master manipulates him into lulling his sense of security and the sheep- dog’s capacity for violence as the titular sheep- killer. The titular sheep-killer understands when to exercise its restraint, and understanding the ways of its master, manipulates him into a false sense of security. (“to match me stare for stare, his heart being innocent”) During a foggy night (“to the thick fog that made another night”), the sheep-killer reveals its true colours, attacking and killing all 50 of the farmer’s flock (“Till 50 lambs lay dead about the hill!”)   which out of fear had clustered together (“…by fear together drifted”). The farmer reproaches himself and wonders who was at fault, himself, the errant dog or the sheep (“Who was at fault? I, the dog, or the sheep?”) He subsequently shoots the dog and returns to sleep (“That night I put a bullet in his head, gave the world back to god and went back to bed”)
In the opening, the sheep-killer is cast as an expert manipulator and successfully lulls the narrator into a false sense of security, resulting in the narrator’s loss of his flock, suggesting that the narrator is at fault. The narrator accepts the blame and repeatedly reproaches himself over the course of the entire poem (“I should have known”, “Why did I trust that shifty compromise!”). In the 4th stanza, the narrator loses track of the sheep-killer in the foggy night, where it succumbs to its nature and attacks its charges (“I lost him quite/ in the the thick fog that made another night”, “a lamb would learn the coming of a dog”) In the fifth stanza, the narrator acknowledges the skill of the sheep- killer in its cunning and its ferocity. (“I recognized the art”) Yet in the 6th stanza, the tone is bitter and the author once again reproaches himself for not recognizing the threat the sheep-killer posed to his flock, even though he had acknowledged the capacity it had for...

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  • Submitted by: CuriousSugar
  • on February 18, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,051 words
  • Views: 605
  • Popularity Rank: 231704
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