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Compare how poets present the theme of love in; Havisham, Valentine, My last Duchess, Sonnet 18, Sonnet 116 and Piano

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Compare How Poets Present The Theme Of Love The theme expressed through these chosen six poems is the nature of love. This can be positively presented in for example, sonnet 18, sonnet 116 (William Shakespeare) and Piano (D.H. Lawrence). Sonnet 18 is about how the imperfections of summer compares with the perfection and completeness of his lover. Sonnet 116 is concerned with how true love is like a long journey and marriage- being a metaphor for true love will guide you through it. Additionally, Piano is about the power of memory of his late mother striking the man at a concert he went to, which brings about a light and sensual approach on the topic of love. Whilst others view love negatively, like Havisham, Valentine (Carol Ann Duffy), and My Last Duchess Ferrara (Robert Browning). Valentine provides a mutual, more realistic interpretation of love, and discusses the matter that it?s not always like a ?red rose or satin heart?. Havisham is about a depressed woman who has been stood up at the altar and has been lying in bed ever since in a terrible, emotional state, indicating the destructive nature of love. And lastly, My Last Duchess is a dramatic monologue in which we hear the story of a duke looking for a new wife and throughout the story we get the idea that he has had her previous wife killed. ...read more.


Furthermore, in similarity, Piano also offers a wide view of time, he mentions that he has been taken ?back down the vista of years? which infers that he is at an aged point of his life. He is nostalgic throughout the poem, mentioning he ?weeps like a child for the past?. The sweet memory he had of his mother back as a child, he still feels the same passion and emotion after this long time gap, which emphasises the delicate, sensory atmosphere. Unlike Piano and the sonnets, a darker and more deceitful view of love is offered in the poems ?My Last Duchess? (by Robert Browning) which shows a very cynical, possessive perspective of love, similarly, the poem, ?Havisham? (by Carol Ann Duffy) where she shows a conflicted view of love towards her ?Beloved, sweetheart bastard? of an ex- lover, who stood her up at the altar. She is an emotional and physical wreck since then, even so she hasn?t the heart to let go of the past and to unveil her ?yellowing? wedding ?dress?. Whereas, the poem Valentine - also by Duffy, gives a pragmatic approach to the concept of love, saying it?s not always a ?cute card or kissogram?. ...read more.


Where she states the symbolic metaphor, ?I give you an onion?. It?s symbolic in a way that it can make you cry, as do relationships. Also the taste can be bitter or sweet depending on how you cook it (i.e. treat the relationship). Similarly to My Last Duchess, she talks in a conversational manner. The poem is structured in a negative way, in a sense that she uses one-word sentences to direct her message across, for example ?Lethal? but also by using imperishable verbs like ?Take it?. By expressing this behavioural attitude it could suggest to us that the reason behind not having high expectations for love could be because she has been hurt before, ?It will blind you with tears like a lover.? so she describes it in a more commonsensical way. The metaphor used in ?It will make your reflection a wobbling photo of grief? is a clear reference towards talking about the end of the relationship - that the grief is imperishable. In conclusion, the poems, Piano, Sonnet 166 and sonnet 18 offer a light, satisfying perception on the theme of love. I believe that ?Valentine? is a neutral, more realistic approach to the theme of love, also My Last Duchess and Havisham offer a much darker perspective of love that has turned grotesque. The nature of love is complex, which is mainly conveyed in Havisham, as she expresses disparate emotions throughout the poem. ...read more.

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