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Choose three poems from the selection we have studied and compare how the poets present the theme of love.

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Introduction

Choose three poems from the selection we have studied and compare how the poets present the theme of love. We only studied a small selection of poems, but they each present a variety of different types of love. 'Let me not' by William Shakespeare is one his love sonnets for which he is particularly famous. It is sonnet 116, showing how many sonnets Shakespeare wrote, all reflecting on the nature of love. Throughout the poem, Shakespeare describes a very romantic and ideal love. 'Porphyria's Lover', by Robert Browning explains an obsessive kind of love. Love poems often express the wish that time would stand still so that a particular moment of intense love will last forever. This poem also features this desire, but the characters' way of ensuring this is very unusual. It leaves you doubting the love Porphyria's lover feels for her. The last poem I studied, again shows a very different type of love. 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvel is more a poem of lust rather than of love. In it, the poet attempts, through argument, to win over his coy lady. 'Let me not' was written in the 16th century as one of Shakespeare's love sonnets. In it he adopts a persona, imagining himself to be someone else, but still giving the impression that it has been written by a narrator, an expert on love. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare exaggerates a lot in the poem about love and what it isn't. This is called a hyperbole. It gives the poem a very majestic feel and his persuasive language tempts you to agree with him. If you judge the lovers and marriage partners around you, using the characteristics outlined in this poem, I can easily see why so many marriages do not last. The love they think they feel isn't love because it has changed with time and according to Shakespeare, "Lov's not Times foole". Because 'Let me not' is a sonnet, it is a very short poem containing only 14 lines. 'Porphyria's Lover' in contrast is a poetic fantasy and contains 60 lines and no stanzas. The style and tone of the poems are also different because 'Let me not' is a very serious poem, musing over the characteristics of love, whereas in 'Porphyria's Lover', the tone is less hyperbole and the style is narrative. 'Porphyria's Lover' tells of a very different kind of love to that we have seen so far in the poems. The lover, on realising that Porphyria really does love him, kills her so that she can never be anyone else's. This is a kind of obsessive love quite unlike the regal and classical love described in 'Let me not'. To modern-day readers, Browning's poem sounds gives the impression that the Lover is a psychopath, but to Victorian readers around the time the poem was written, the story it tells would be a poetic fantasy instead. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the first stanza, the poet flatters his lady and tries to persuade her that he will always love her and to show her what she is missing. Towards the end of the first stanza, you get the impression that all this is too good to be true and that there is a 'But' coming. It is this that the last stanza deals with. It contains his actual argument and constantly emphasis that time is against them, that life is too short for her to resist. Because it is an essential part of the poet's argument, time is the main theme of the poem. He says that his love will last forever: "I would Love you ten years before the Flood' This is similar to Shakespeare's opinion in 'Let me not' that 'Lov's not Times foole' Before the poet commence onto his main argument, he flatters and praises his lady. He compliments her using images like the 'Ganges' in India. He uses this metaphor because the river is exotic and mysterious. Around the time that this poem was written, very little would have been known about the Ganges and similar aspects of countries such as India. He calls himself humble or 'Humber'. This suggests that he more ordinary and she is superior to him. This another aspect of his flattery. It is also clear from the way the poet expresses himself that he is only faltering his lady in order to get his own way. Throughout the poem, the poet uses lots of imagery. ...read more.

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