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How to Read a Poem
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AP English Language
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Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay
Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...
Form and Meter
Ballad StanzaThis poem, for all its whimsy, is mighty regular. "Jabberwocky" is written solely in quatrains (four-line stanzas) that have a regular ABAB, CDCD, EFEF rhyme scheme. The lines themselv...
The situation surrounding "who's talking?" in this poem is a bit of a mystery. In Through the Looking-Glass (which happens to be the actual book where "Jabberwocky" was published), Alice simply fin...
We are, literally, in Wonderland for this poem.What does that mean for you the reader? Well, it means that we're nowhere real, which is both exhilarating and a little frightening. On the one hand,...
The lilting rhythm of "Jabberwocky" helps the narrator's cause. It makes the poem easy to remember (so that he can tell it to you around that campfire), and it keeps the story moving forward at a r...
What's Up With the Title?
Just like most epics with a central character, "Jabberwocky" is simply titled after the most significant thing in the poem – the giant monster foe. The title of this poem forces us to reckon...
Nonsense WordsThis poem is instantly recognizable in the English-speaking world because of one thing: all the nonsense words. Made up words are Carroll's signature. His use of combined words and th...
(4) Base CampOnce you get past the nonsense language of the thing, the poem is a simple and straightforward narrative. It is, when you get right down to it, not pure nonsense at all. It makes sense...
Nearly 20 separate biographies have been written about Lewis Carroll, almost all conflicting. (Source)Carroll was a mathematician and a logician of some note, and many of his stories are reputed to...
GNothing to see here, guys. Just some monsters and a little gore.
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