• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analyse the Different Forms of Power Presented in "My Last Duchess", "A Woman to Her Lover" and "La Belle Dame sans Merci"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Analyse the Different Forms of Power Presented in "My Last Duchess", "A Woman to Her Lover" and "La Belle Dame sans Merci" Love poetry has existed for centuries; it takes many forms ranging from Shakespeare's sonnets and dream visions from Chaucer to medieval ballads and feminist statements. As well as poetry, love comes in many forms as well. Amongst the three love poems examined in this essay, the theme of male or female power in relationships pervades throughout. The main forms that we see in the poems are unrequited love, romantic love and possessive love. The poems we are looking at are very varied, 'My last Duchess' by Robert Browning, which gives an insight to possessive love. The next poem, "A woman to her lover" has a totally different attitude, where women and men share equal power. Finally, 'La Belle Dame sans Merci' is written by John Keats, it portrays a relationship where the woman is in control and the male is inferior which is in total contrast to "My last Duchess". This poem is in the form of a ballad. Browning's "My Last Duchess" is in the form of a dramatic monologue it is spoken by the Duke of Ferrara. Within this poem, the Duke conveys megalomaniac inclinations towards his late wife and also shows how he feels that his title gives him an automatic power over her. ...read more.

Middle

The reader also realises that the poetic voice in "A woman to her lover" believes that equality between the two sexes is vital to insure the smooth running of a relationship. It is ironic that in "My last duchess" it was the equality that the Duke and the Duchess had between them which was the problem in their relationship. The reader always feels that the poetic voice is very self-assured and confident. In the opening line she says "Do you come to me to bend me to your will". Here she directly addresses the reader, which in this case is her lover. In 18th century Britain, it would have been shocking for a woman to speak to a man in such a discourteous manor - let alone publish her own material; this shows her bold and audacious nature. Her strong character is amplified by her use of powerful vocabulary, for instance, words like "bend", "bondslave" and "drudgery", show her fearless character and also how strongly she wants equality. Her tone and register is very similar to the Duke's, as they are both confident, dominating and come across as very powerful. However the power they display isn't their true nature, which is another parallel between the two characters. The Duke may appear to be powerful, but through a closer inspection we see his insecurity, and for the most part of the poem the woman may appear to be controlling but at the end she reveals her true self. ...read more.

Conclusion

As all Greek myths had an underlying story or message, in the case of the sirens it was a warning that women can be sly and manipulative towards men's sexual weaknesses. The story of the knight and the Faery conveys the same message, and displays how women are not necessarily weaker than men, contrary to the stereotype at the time. The love in this poem is described very negatively. As we see the man tortured by love and is left on 'a cold hill side', we see the very damaging effect love had on him, from this we could say that yes it was presented entirely negatively but it was not. In the middle of the poem we actually see blissful love as the man was blinded by the amazing love he felt for the woman, 'and nothing else saw all day long'. In conclusion we can see that the idea of feminist power and dominance exists in all of them. However each writer portrays women and their power in different ways - Browning depicts them as inferior to men, Walsh seeks to show the competence of women while the woman in Keats' poem possesses supernatural powers. The main thing that the three poems teach us is that the role of the sexes in a relationship can change, depending on the type and amount of power they posses - the male can be the one who is trapped and exploited while the women emerges as the dominant one. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Amir Ashrafi ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Love Poetry essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast how the writers of "My Last Duchess" and "Remember" portray different ...

    5 star(s)

    The octet builds a picture of a loving couple that planned to spend the rest of their lives inseparable due to their love. The inclusion of the word "Only..." in line 7 is a final poignant plea, added to "...remember me..."

  2. The two poems, "First Love," by John Clare and "La Belle Dame Sans Merci," ...

    The idea of death is also emphasised by the setting of the poem, where the sedge is withered and birds do not sing. This does not only signify death but also prepares us for something sinister: "The sedge has wither'd from the lake, And no birds sing."

  1. The two poems which I shall analyse and explore are, "Shall I compare thee ...

    Shakespeare realises that the summer, in fact is transitory, and is not infinite, and therefore pales in insignificance next to her. In "La Belle Dame Sans Merci," however, the knight takes us through his story describing to us the turbulent emotions which he has suffered at the hands of "his beautiful woman without mercy."

  2. shakespeares sonnets

    tell you how I languish // And the red express my anguish". This also shows how Thomas Carew is using imagery to show his pain. Thomas Carew shows that he receives no love in return by saying the roses do not grow together: "Have those roses thus divided".

  1. Comparison of “Porphyrias Lover” and “My Last Duchess”.

    The quotation above is when Phorphyria's Lover realises what he is going to do to Phorphyria. He decides to strangle her "yellow string around Three times her little throat around..." and he does this thinking it is what she wants.

  2. Cousin Kate & Porphyrias Lover - analysis of how love is presented.

    He feels gloomy and spiteful himself, not the wind. This builds up mystery and tension as we read more of the poem. This makes the reader feel uneasy and reflects the mood of the man inside the cottage so we expect that something bad is going to happen. This poem is written from the view of a man who

  1. La Belle Dame Sans Merci Analysis

    The poem conveys the message that love can raise people out of the worst places, and that you should always take opportunities and live your life to the full as you never know when it is going to end. Theme The themes running through the poem are death, life, love and magic.

  2. Compare and contrast the poems 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' and 'The Daemon Lover'

    Both poems also included supernatural creatures, i.e. fairies and devils. Technical details in both poems are also similar, for instance the rhyming scheme, short stanzas and caesura. Yet, under closer examination, they actually are quite different in some ways. In the Daemon Lover, there are more imageries and descriptions about

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work