I am aiming for excellence so could I please get feedback and an approximate grade?
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Question - Analyse how language features were used to deepen my understanding of a key idea.
Throughout numerous decades, artists have carved the pathway of civilisation, guiding humankind towards the ultimate vision of an ideal world. As we begin to understand the artist as a philosopher, our appreciation of art deepens because only then can we recognise that there is a deeper meaning beyond the artwork itself. In his poem, Ode (We are the music makers), using language features, O’Shaughnessy expresses the key idea of the artist being a philosopher, which deepens my appreciation of art. Firstly, O’Shaughnessy uses metaphors to deepen our appreciation of art by revealing the artist as a philosopher. Then, this appreciation is deepened further as imagery is incorporated to display this philosophy’s effect on society. Finally, we fully appreciate art as O’Shaughnessy reveals how the artist, as a philosopher, has built the world since time began and has been the cause of change.
O’Shaughnessy creatively expresses the role of the artist as a philosopher through metaphors. With a philosopher being a person who offers views or theories on profound questions such as ethics, metaphysics, logic, and other related fields, we can interpret philosophers to be the source of inspiration, revealing truths and being the cause of change in society. By describing the artist as 'a light that doth not depart’ and the source of ‘flame’, O’Shaughnessy is creating a metaphor for the artist. Light is an ancient metaphor for seeing and sudden bright realisation. Understanding this metaphor helps us to comprehend how the artist becomes the source of inspiration. This use of the words ‘flame’ and ‘light’ creates a reference to illumination, making us understand that the artist brings out the ‘light’ in matters. Brilliantly, O’Shaughnessy has used light as a metaphor to convey to the readers that the artist is the source of inspiration and the illuminator of ideas. The chorus of artists in the poem are philosophers, as they are the ‘light’ of our society. Deepened by the realisation that the artist is a philosopher, my appreciation of art grows as I come to see these deeper influences behind the light that artists bring. I can now see each piece of art as an influence on society not an artwork only, which makes me understand things I was unsure about or unaware of. This allows us as humans to change as we receive this ‘flame’ or realisation.
When we pair the idea of the artist as the ‘light’ of society with the quote 'they had no vision amazing / of the goodly house they were raising", we see that O’Shaughnessy fully displays the effect the artist has on society. The ‘goodly house’ that is being ‘raised’ can be interpreted as an image of a whole new better world due to the positive connotations of the word ‘goodly.’ Then because the poem is written through the voices of the artists, the personal pronoun ‘they’ refers to the rest of society, meaning that ordinary society are the ones ‘raising’ this ‘house.’ O’Shaughnessy writes that the ordinary society ‘had no vision amazing,’ and therefore had no sight of this overall ideal vision that the artists create. Instead, the artists ‘wrought a flame in another man’s heart’, which brings us back to this light of inspiration that influences ordinary society to change for the better. The full effect that the artist has on society is displayed when we read ’ a breath of our inspiration / is the life of each generation’ as we come to understand that society cannot progress without this philosophical guidance of the artist. By displaying society’s full dependence on the artist to introduce change, O’Shaughnessy shows us that the artist, as a philosopher, guides society in the direction of the ideal vision of a better world. Comprehension of how the artist affects society deepens my appreciation of art as I can understand the full philosophical potential in the message of art. Artworks should not be viewed blindly by their materialistic quality but by the implications that the artist makes. If we all viewed each piece of art by it’s underlying message, society would grow as we come to understand the point of the artwork; it develops a deeper quality of understanding in each of us.
The artist has not just had an effect on society but on history as a whole. As conveyed by O’Shaughnessy, the pathway of civilisation has been formed and its direction created by the artist. In the passage, 'Yet we are the movers and shakers / of the world forever it seems,’ O’Shaughnessy uses imagery and metaphors to display this idea of the artist being the cause of change and progression throughout history. This metaphorical sense of moving and shaking creates and image of change in the world. By saying ‘yet we,’ O’Shaughnessy infers that the artists are the cause of this change due to their philosophical impact through being this ‘light’ of inspiration. When this idea of the artists being the ‘movers and shakers’ of the world, it makes me appreciate art more as there is key role the art plays which is causing the change we can see happening even today. By using the word ‘forever’, O’Shaughnessy creates a feeling of infiniteness that implies that while artists may die, the messages conveyed through art will never die. Then we combine the message that art never dies with ‘…built Nineveh with our singing / And Babel itself with our mirth’, we get the feeling of the eternity of art and that of the past. By creating the image of these ancient biblical cities being ‘built’ by the artists ‘mirth’ and ‘singing’, O’Shaughnessy not only reveals that the artist’s philosophy is the cause of this development but also that this has been the case since ancient times. By understanding that art never dies, O’Shaughnessy helps us to understand that artists have built our world ‘forever,’ right since the beginning of time. My appreciation of art deepens as O’Shaughnessy conveys the idea of the artist forming the course of history because humankind would not have progressed, overcome or changed without art. These artworks of all types are spreading flames of inspiration to change the way we think, live, and act, and this has been the case since the beginning of time.
The artist is a philosopher that has affected society and ultimately carved the pathway of civilisation. Realisation of this key role the artist plays as a philosopher, deepens my appreciation of art because I now understand that there is a much deeper meaning than the artwork itself. O’Shaughnessy uses metaphors and images to convey the artist as a philosopher. Ode (We are the Music Makers) has, true to the message of the artist being a philosopher, changed the way that I now view art—a stepping stone on the way to this overall vision for humanity. Philosophy of the artist has guided humanity towards their vision of the ideal world.