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Discuss the Relationship Between Love and Death in "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell, "The Sick Rose" by William Blake and "Remember" by Christina Rossetti.

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Introduction

Discuss the Relationship Between Love and Death in "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell, "The Sick Rose" by William Blake and "Remember" by Christina Rossetti I have been studying the poems "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell, "The Sick Rose" by William Blake and "Remember" by Christina Rossetti. Each of the poets belonged to a different school of poetry: Blake and Rossetti belonged to the Romantics whereas Marvell belonged to the Metaphysicals. The Romantics were six English poets: William Blake, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Shelley and John Keats. They wrote from 1789 to 1824, and they loved nature and believed love, emotions, passion and human relationships were paramount to everything else including God and religion. They also wrote about the pathos of love - which would usually include the death of a lover. The Metaphysicals were the poets John Donne, Andrew Marvell, Henry Vaughan and Thomas Traherne. They wrote mainly to show how intellectual they were and how intellectual they could be. They wrote in the seventeenth century. They too wrote about love, although they were more interested in separating and rationalizing their thoughts from their feelings. Their poems share the common conventions of wit, rational discussion, inventiveness and they all shared a love of elaborate, stylistic manoeuvres. ...read more.

Middle

The 'Worm' could be seen as a literal worm or as a male lover. Marvell also uses the metaphorical worm, which is used in both poems to show the destruction of love and beauty. He also describes death similarly to Rossetti. He describes death as "Deserts of vast eternity" (line 24), which is similar to how Rossetti describes death which is described as the "Silent land" (line 2). Unlike Blake and Marvell, Rossetti has written "Remember" in the simplest form, to make the poem easier to understand. She wrote "Remember" to leave something of herself behind after her death as she didn't marry or have children. This purpose is echoed in her language as she uses imperatives such as "You should" which is repeated in lines 9, 13 and 14. Each poem has a very distinct atmosphere. The atmosphere in "To His Coy Mistress" is oppressive and arrogant "And the last age should show your heart." (Line 18). The poem is male dominated and lacks a female voice. He does, however, attempt to flatter her although these efforts are false, shallow and insincere. He mocks her desire to preserve her virginity by calling it a "Crime" (line 2). He divides his thoughts from his feelings by setting out the poem the way it is. ...read more.

Conclusion

The emphasis changes in the second stanza, which deals with the consequences. Rossetti's poem has the traditional Romantic structure of a sonnet. Sonnets were developed from Italian poetry. The Victorians used them extensively. Sonnets were written in a set form: they must have two stanzas called a sestet and an octave. In "Remember" the sestet is six lines long and urges the recipient to remember her. The octave is eight lines long and changes the emphasis from urging to remember to accepting that the recipient may forget. The change of emphasis is similar to "The Sick Rose", which also has a change of emphasis. Marvell, Blake and Rossetti all present love and death in different ways. For example Marvell uses love and death as ways of persuading his mistress to begin a sexual relationship. Blake mainly presents the consequences of 'Rose's' and one of the consequences is her death. Although "Remember" is a sonnet, the theme of death (especially Rossetti's death) is more prominent than the theme of love. T he theme of death is presented by saying what should happen after her death. The three poems were all written using the conventions of the different schools of poetry and the different structures of poems. The views expressed in the poems may not necessarily express the poets' true thoughts and views. The poem could also be autobiographical, especially "Remember" as Rossetti rejected love over her relationship with God, so she died on her own. Annabelle Baker 10PC Poetry Pre 1914 ...read more.

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