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Comparissons between John Donne's 'The sun rising', Andrew Marvel's 'To his coy mistress' and Elizabeth Barret-Browning's 'How do I love thee'.

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COMPARISSONS BETWEEN JOHN DONNE'S 'THE SUN RISING', ANDREW MARVEL'S 'TO COY HIS MISTRESS' AND ELIZABETH BARRET-BROWNING'S 'HOW DO I LOVE THEE'. John Donne refers to the King in the first stanza which suggests that the poem was written in 1603. Donne married in 1601, so inferably the piece could be about what his relationship meant to him. The poem is an exaltation of the happiness between a couple in love. The poem implies that the universe is non-existent to two lovers. The poem talks of the beautiful feeling of sexual love being a singled-out reality, rigorously neglecting the outside world. It ponders on the lovers being fielded in the middle of an admirable, living world of their own. To the lovers, time is not important, 'Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime, Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time' and their certainty that the world exterior of their bedroom isolated (rather than themselves being ignored by the outside world) 'She' is all states, and all Princes I, Nothing else is'. Then arguing his point, or perhaps contradicting his initial suggestions, Donne accepts that time is essential in this world. 'Must to thy motions lovers seasons run?' we are asked. The obvious answer to that question is, 'No' as we are aware that time will catch up on us, regardless of how convenient our current predicaments in life are treating us. ...read more.


Here I think the poet cleverly lays the foundation of the poem's meaning. Marvell is exploring his nature of lust (vegetable love) rather than love (animal love). Deserts of vast eternity, is a splendid metaphorical image of death. Neither the poet's lust nor his listener's beauty will endure through eternity. The poem has progressed from ten years before the flood into eternity. The poet seeks to disgust and frighten his mistress in lines 27-8, 'My echoing song...........long-preserved virginity' by telling her that the worms in her grave will break her precious virginity, if she were to die unloved by him. This may pressurise the mistress, forcing her to comply with his proposal. Marvell is very persuasive here, but is also rather bullying. I found this image particularly striking and disturbing, because it works to an effect to show us to appreciate the significant differences between beautiful life and disgusting death. We must also bear in mind that this was Marvell's perception of death as he had not yet experienced it. After he has set up the contrast between the eternity of his love and human mortality in the first two sections, Marvell uses images of fiery passion in the final section. He no longer uses the delicate, appealing images of the first section; here he is arguing with a sort of loving intensity meant to awaken his lover's passionate desire, attempting to alter her mind. ...read more.


This impression is altered by the final lines. 'If God choose.....better after death' This quote tells us that if God were to comply, she would love the person she is addressing even more after death. So this rules out the possibility of her lover being God. I think the poem is conveying the poet's feelings fantastically. The fact that it forces me to feel some resonation, implicates the effect it has. The poem gives me a clear view, and definition of what love is and feels like. The views this gives us of romance and relationship, is a positive one. I think it also implies that you can love someone so much that it wounds. The poem suggests that no matter what holds you back, or what you are striving for cannot overshadow love, and that is the importance and power of it. In general the poets seem to be talking of their experiences of love. I think what makes the contrast of the poems exist are the poets attitude and their knowledgeable experience of love. The main difference between the three of them is that Barrett Browning is offering a more matured perception of love as she was in her 40s, whereas Donne is newly married and Marvell is the seductive type. I feel that the poet that conveyed their argument best, was Barrett Browning. Her poem gives me a clear view, and definition of what years of love and marriage feel like. . ...read more.

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