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The Village Schoolmaster by Oliver Goldsmith - a commentary on the poem

The Village Schoolmaster by Oliver Goldsmith - a commentary on the poem

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The Village Schoolmaster by Oliver Goldsmith - a commentary on the poem

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  1. The Village Schoolmaster by Oliver Goldsmith - a commentary on the poem Steve.neal@marrasouk.co.uk http://www.marrasouk.com

  2. “The Village Schoolmaster is an extract from a longer poem - “The Deserted Village.” The common land was fenced off by the rich Villages were deserted The poor had nowhere to graze their animals or collect fuel The poor were forced to work in towns in factories http://www.marrasouk.com

  3. The poem is a portrait of a village schoolmaster The first 2 lines sets the scene of a deserted village The village was where he taught “unprofitably gay” The fence “Straggles” The gorse http://www.marrasouk.com

  4. Goldsmith shows us the different sides of the schoolmaster He mentions his strengths Suggests he was strict with those who missed school. “Skilled to rule” But also his more intimidating side “and every truant knew” “stern to view” “severe” http://www.marrasouk.com

  5. The pupils could guess his mood for that day by the expression on his face Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace The day’s disasters in his morning face; But “boding tremblers” is comic - it’s exaggerated These words suggest it wasn’t a good mood http://www.marrasouk.com

  6. The pupils laughed at his jokes Did I tell you the one about.. “counterfeited glee,” Their laughter was faked And then there’s the one about.. “, the dismal tidings when he frown'd:” “for many a joke had he,” But his mood could change http://www.marrasouk.com

  7. Goldsmith doesn’t give us any examples of his kindness but goes on to tell us.. “Yet he was kind” anything strict “or if severe in aught, The love he bore to learning was in fault” The schoolmaster loved learning too much, until it became a fault. http://www.marrasouk.com

  8. The village all declar'd how much he knew; All useful skills in the eyes of the uneducated villagers but not evidence of great learning write cipher measure terms and tides presage Do maths Predict the dates of religious festivals and holidays More complex maths- calculating liquid in a barrel or rainfall “the story’ suggest it’s difficult to believe And e'en the story ran that he could gauge. http://www.marrasouk.com

  9. In arguing too, the parson own'd his skill, This appears to be a compliment about the schoolmaster The vicar - a man with education But it’s a very particular type of skill defeated For even though vanquish'd he could argue still; He carried on arguing after he had lost http://www.marrasouk.com

  10. The schoolmaster tries to impress the villagers with.. Sounds impressive words of learned length and thundering sound I’m amazed He’s held in high regard by the villagers, who are impressed by his knowledge. I gaze How can that “small head” hold all that Knowledge? My wonder grows http://www.marrasouk.com

  11. A quick note on the form of the poem: Rhymes with the following line: aa, bb, cc etc 10 syllables in each line Full well the busy whisper, circling round, Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned. A popular eighteenth century verse form These are closed couplets; each couplet is a unit of sense It’s a heroic couplet http://www.marrasouk.com