Analysis of 'A woman to her lover' by Christina Walsh
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English GCSE Poetry Coursework 'A Woman to Her Lover' by Cristina Walsh 'A woman to her lover' by Christina Walsh could represent the Duchess response to Duke Ferrara's 'My Last Duchess,' when comparing the three poems it can be considered as a centre-point for comparison. The poem portrays a woman's fight for equality in a relationship but even this step of bravery is blighted by her fear of her patriarchal spouse, rather than making demands she feels that she must first ask and also tempt her 'lover;' to stay with her. It is about a woman ?stating conditions for marriage to her husband. The use of the ?conditional tense throughout the poem makes the poem appear like a ?marriage contract. This is striking because it contains the conditions ?of a marriage contract but from a woman. This would seem extremely odd ?at that period of as women were treated as subservient and marriage ?contracts would be made with men's interests at heart. The poem itself contains many subtle paradoxes, which show that despite the poetic voice's attempt at equality it exposes her underlying fear of her partner's patriarchal power. ...read more.
Whereas 'My Last Duchess' utilises a rhyme scheme of twenty-eight rhyming couplets in iambic pentameter, which makes it sound rehearsed and superficial. Although there are some similarities between 'My Last Duchess' and 'A Woman to Her Lover' one being that they are both written in dramatic monologue meaning they are one sided: this should normally have the effect that the poetic voice could orchestrate events. Although in both poem's the poetic voice's become susceptible and there are notable changes in tone signifying both anger and fear respectively.' A Woman to Her Lover' is the only poem written from a female perspective and has a subsequent softer tone. One of the main contrasts between the two stated poems is that the woman does not have the Duke's desire to dominate although her demands lean towards imagination in the last stanza indicates that she herself does not believe this could happen. "So together we may know the purity and heights Of passion, and of joy and sorrow." ...read more.
The woman portrays her emotions in many ways one is by using sarcasm when she says, 'every dead and word and wish is golden' and ' a wingless angel that can do no wrong' these statements hyperbolize the woman's situation of not being appreciated for who she and that she is not perfect, a pragmatic persona. The final line of the stanza is very similar to that of the previous one. It says 'if that be what you ask, fool, I refuse you!' Which is impeditive and attacks his masculinity with the word 'fool'. The contrast between 'O lover' and 'fool' is vast; it could perhaps display the differences in the 'lover's' character. The third stanza contains sexual imagery and is similar to bribe in an ultimatum. The purpose of this stanza is to remind her 'lover' that they have eventful sexual relationship where it says 'my body supple only for your sense delight,' which is again contradictory to the woman's cause because she submits herself again, it is as if the woman does not believe that change is possible in their relationship. Also there is sibilance that creates a sensual atmosphere 'skin soft...supple. ...read more.
This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry section.
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