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GCSE: Love Poetry

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 15
  1. How has John Donne treated the theme of love in his poem Lovers Infiniteness?

    The tone of the poem suggests insecurity and- subtly- jealousy and possessiveness: this can be evident through lines such as ?This new love may beget new fears?, ?New love created be, by other men?, ?The ground, thy heart is mine?have it all?. Using a variety of literary devices, Donne puts across the main idea of the poem vividly. Donne compares love to a ?transaction? wherein he expects his lady-love to ?gift? her love to him after he has ?spent? a lot of his ?sighs, tears, and oaths, and letters? to ?purchase? her heart- this is one of the many examples of both metaphor and visual imagery he uses(a clear picture of his efforts is being made).

    • Word count: 1100

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Choose three poems from the pre-1914 section of your anthology which present different views of love. Compare the poems considering carefully the language the poets have decided to use and its effects on the reader.

    "In conclusion love in these poems is portrayed in a number of different ways. 'My Last Duchess' is very cold poem where the woman is objectified and there is a distorted view of love. There is also little passion shown. 'Porphyria's lover' is quite a passionate poem, which portrays the woman as respectable and brilliant. However the love becomes sinister as in 'My last Duchess'. 'To his Coy Mistress' is much more light hearted than the others and is comic. The poem is quite passionate, but lust is the form of passion and that is not true love, but a love that like in 'My Last Duchess' objectifies the woman. Also the women in the two poems are seen as less important as in 'Porphyria's Lover' which represents the woman as the most important thing in the world. Therefore Browning poems are more sinister and different to Marvell which is more like Donne as their poems are more comic and lustful."

  • Compare Shakespeare's sonnets 18 and CXXX.

    "Which brings up a theme: irony. Both poems give us an unexpected conclusion, one that proves ironical in both cases. In both cases, of course, the poet maintains his love, which is the strongest element, not nature. And this is the strangeness of the poems. We generally think of the power of nature to overrule all. There is a theme of "unchanging love." But you might consider instead a theme closer to "all important love." Neither of these poems actually says that love will remain permanent. Sonnet 18 tells us that beauty will, and Sonnet 130 shows us that his love is strong even if the woman has flaws. But both poems demonstrate the sheer dominating power of love, a power even over Nature. And this is powerful indeed."

  • Compare and contrast "The Rendezvous" by Stanley J. Thomas, "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell and "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" by William Shakespeare.

    "In conclusion the theme of love is displayed in The Rendezvous, Shall I compare thee to a summer's day and to his coy mistress because they are showing how much they care for their women. They are all similar because they all use nature; they all have lust and beauty. They are different because in Rendezvous it is about romantic love, to his coy mistress is about lust and shall I compare thee to a summer's day is about beauty and romance. In my opinion shall I compare thee to a summer's day has the most realistic view of love because William Shakespeare uses nature which is romantic; he also has a good view of women. ISHTIAQ AHMED"

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