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Katie Burns Ms. Caruso English 1103 25 September 2011 Rhetorical Analysis Paper The text chosen for this paper is Invictus, by William Ernest Henley. The genre portrayed throughout this text is that of a poem. The elements of a poem include: rhyme, short stanzas usually being four lines each, a story being told in a metaphorical way, a serious message being told, use of repetition, and are usually written in the authors point of view. Every poem shares a different story and every poem normally makes a person read between the lines because they arent so straight forward. Poems share a purpose in either telling a short story or sharing something that could be influential to the reader. Some people turn to poems when they are feeling down because the words are there to guide the readers emotions into a more positive path. The main purpose of Invictus is to influence someone who might be feeling that they are not in control of their life and have no say in what they do or think. The last two lines in this poem read, I am the master of my fate/ I am the captain of my soul. (15-16) this alone is saying that no matter what obstacles are thrown in ones life, a person is still in control and can lead their life onto any path they want to take. In this poem, Henley is saying how he hears and sees all the negative influences in his world but does not let them take over his life. Instead he stands
Andrew Mikesell 9/29/11 10:22 AM Comment: Good description of a poem, and good description of your poem. Why did you choose this poem?

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tall and shows that he is in control. This poem could give people insight that might be just what they want to hear. One main aspect used in this genre is rhyme. If this poem didnt rhyme it wouldnt be the same because most poems do. It wouldnt be as important of a subject without the rhyming words, because that is normally what catches the readers attention. Rhyme makes the poem interesting to read and keeps the reader focused so that they can keep reading instead of getting bored of the text. Rhyme attracts the reader and reels them in. Another main element of a poem is to contain a serious message that needs to catch the readers attention. This poem is very serious and direct. Henley uses sincere examples to let people know that they are in control. As he says, let the menace of the years/ finds, and shall find, me unafraid. (11-12). He is saying that no matter what happens he remains unafraid and does not let things get to his head. If many people read this poem, then they could walk away following Henleys example and not let things step in their path of life. Almost everyone can relate to this poem because there is always going to be that one person that tells someone how to look, think, and act. Then that person slowly falls off their tracks and do not understand who they have become. A poem that can compare to Invictus is Alone by Maya Angelou. In this poem she explains that no matter how much of a good life a person might believe they have they cannot make it out in this world alone. Someone is always hiding something and there are always unhappy times in ones life where someone will need to be there for a persons wellbeing. This poem fulfills most of the conventions of this genre. Angelou uses rhyme in every stanza,
Andrew Mikesell 9/29/11 10:24 AM Comment: What do you think about this part of the poem, you can talk about your opinion. And if you have personal experiences definitely talk about them.

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rhyming on every other line. She uses repetition when she says, Alone, all alone/ Nobody, not nobody/ Can make it out here alone. (11-13).
Andrew Mikesell 9/29/11 10:27 AM Comment: Good poem selection. It seems pretty interesting and it sounds like it actually has a meaning to it. Most poems are confusing but this one makes sense. Like I said before talk about personal experiences and if anything in the poem reflects to you talk about it in your paper.

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