On a portrait of a deaf man

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WALT: engage with key ideas in poetry from the AQA anthology
Task (10 minutes)
Read ‘On a Portrait of a Deaf Man’.
• Highlight all of the lines which describe old, happy memories
• In a different colour, highlight all of the gruesome images of a
decomposing body
Why do you think the poet wants us to see this contrast?
WALT: engage with key ideas in poetry from the AQA anthology
Task (10 minutes)
What attitude does the poet have towards
death and religion?
You, God, who treat him thus and thus,
Say ‘Save his soul and pray.’
You ask me to believe You and
I only see decay.
Extension
Specifically, which words or phrases show this
attitude?
WALT: engage with key ideas in poetry from the AQA anthology
Task (5 minutes)
Find three similarities between the final lines of
‘Ozymandias’ and ‘On a Portrait of a Deaf Man’.
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
You, God, who treat him thus and thus,
Say ‘Save his soul and pray.’
You ask me to believe You and
I only see decay.
WALT: engage with key ideas in poetry from the AQA anthology
Task (10 minutes)
Compare how the final lines of these poems show the
poets’ attitudes to death and God(s).
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
You, God, who treat him thus and thus,
Say ‘Save his soul and pray.’
You ask me to believe You and
I only see decay.
WALT: engage with key ideas in poetry from the AQA anthology
Task (10 minutes)
• What have each of these examples done well?
• How could they be improved?
Example 1
Both talk to God and
sound like they don’t
like him. They both talk
about decay which tells
us they think when you
die you rot away, which
is disgusting. They are
both obsessed with
death.
Example 2
In ‘Ozymandias’, the poet shows
how everything falls into ‘decay’
eventually, even things which
were once-great, like the
monument of Ozymandias. ‘On a
Portrait of a Dead Man’ uses
‘decay’ as the final word of the
poem to reinforce the gruesome
reality of death.
WALT: engage with key ideas in poetry from the AQA anthology
Task (10 minutes)
Improve your own answer using these model answers to
help you.
Example 1
Both talk to God and
sound like they don’t
like him. They both talk
about decay which tells
us they think when you
die you rot away, which
is disgusting. They are
both obsessed with
death.
Example 2
In ‘Ozymandias’, the poet shows
how everything falls into ‘decay’
eventually, even things which
were once-great, like the
monument of Ozymandias. ‘On a
Portrait of a Dead Man’ uses
‘decay’ as the final word of the
poem to reinforce the gruesome
reality of death.

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