• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore the themes of love and loss in the poems "My Last Duchess", "Shall I compare thee…?", "Let me not" and "Porphyria's Lover".

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explore the themes of love and loss in the poems "My Last Duchess", "Shall I compare thee...?", "Let me not" and "Porphyria's Lover". The four poems that I have chosen to address love and loss are "My Last Duchess" and "Porphyria's Lover" by Robert Browning, and "Shall I compare thee...?" and "Let me not" by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare's sonnets address eternal and true love, whereas Browning's poems explore the themes of passionate, consuming love and its consequences. Love can come in many different forms including true love, unfading love, eternal love, sexual love, platonic love and unrequited love. Feelings such as lust and infatuation can often be incorrectly identified as love, though that is not the case in these four poems, as even though all of the authors seem to be infatuated with the subjects of their poems to the point of obsession, there is also evidence in each of the poems that shows that they are in love to a certain extent. Loss has a wide number of definitions, including bereavement, failure and damage. Each of these types of loss are addressed in the four poems, mainly in "My Last Duchess" and "Porphyria's Lover". ...read more.

Middle

This natural exuberance was probably the issue that initiated her husband's malcontent, but it is more that likely that it was his own overpowering obsessive nature, that caused her love for him to fade, which is shown by Browning's use of the simple metaphor, "...My favour at her breast, The dropping of the daylight in the West..." The use of this poetic device shows that the Duke knows, or thinks that he knows, that she looks encouragingly at other people and that he resents how they are taking his place in her heart. It would be wrong to assume that narcissism is the only form of love in this poem, because although "My Last Duchess" doesn't show love in the same pure form as in the sonnets or in "Porphyria's Lover", it is made obvious that the Duke feels something for his late wife in the way that he is so obsessed with keeping her for himself. We are introduced to the Duke's new inamorata at the end of the poem, and it is again made clear that he feels a form of desire, but this time it is not solely for her person, but for her dowry, which again adds a superficial egotistical air to the poem. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Lov's not Times fool, though rosie lips and cheeks Within his bending sickles compasse come..." It is through this personification that he makes love immortal. Assonance and alliteration have also been used to imprint the facts about love firmly into the readers mind, "Which alters when it alteration findes, Or bends with the remover to remove." He has also used a hyperbole in the rhyming couplet at the end of the sonnet, "If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved." This makes it unequivocal that he is correct in his description of love, because he has written and man has always and always will love. In conclusion, I can say that the two poets look at very different aspects of love, with Browning focusing on a more unusual and somewhat less publicized infatuous obsession of love, and Shakespeare on the seemingly more traditional version of true, eternal love. Loss is more focussed on in Browning's poems than in the two sonnets, not only because of the subject matter, but also because of the nature of the love. From this I can say that love and loss are closely linked together, with loss being a direct consequence of the way that you handle love that you bear. Emily Taylor 11B Mr Tucker ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Love Poetry essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "My Last Duchess" and "To His Coy Mistress" Compare the presentation of the men ...

    4 star(s)

    The speaker, flatters the lady, but also threatens her by talking of death and creating horrible images. He also shows off about his male features. We see the Duke's aim to please his ex-wife when he says, "as if

  2. Marked by a teacher

    I am contrasting the poems, "My Last Duchess" and "On the Departure Platform". Both ...

    3 star(s)

    This would make the reader feel that the Duke's complaints against the Duchess are very unfair. She was obviously a kind, gentle and emotional woman who had many admirers. This, if anything helps the reader gather an accurate idea of the Duke as being a lonely, selfish and arrogant man.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How do 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'The sisters' explore the themes of love, jealousy and ...

    3 star(s)

    This will make him very jealous of people from higher classes, again just building his anger. The motivation for murder in this poem was to preserve the moment in which the woman said she loved him, 'At last I knew/ Porphyria worshipped me ......

  2. Comparison between 'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's Lover'

    It was written by Christian Rossetti (1830-1894), and most of her work was religious in nature, which is reflected in the poem: 'My heart is like a singing bird / Whose nest is in a watershed shoot.' The entire poem involves Rossetti comparing her love to nature and the use

  1. Compare Shakespeare's sonnets 'shall I compare thee' and 'let me not'.

    The next two lines "Admit impediments, love is not love, Which alters when alteration it findes," tells us that love is not true love if it changes when it gets the chance. "or bends with it the remover to remove" this line has much the same meaning as the above two lines.

  2. The two poems I have chosen on the theme of love are 'Porphyria's Lover' ...

    These two poems are totally different, although they are about the same subject; one is more modern than the other one. In Porphyria's Lover the poet compares the dead lover to a shut bud. This is very weird as shown in the lines "I am quite sure she felt no pain.

  1. The two poems which I shall analyse and explore are, "Shall I compare thee ...

    In Keats' poem however, the style is quite different as the language does not contain a vast number of figurative devices, nor is it complex to understand. It is much more simple and literal, which is why ballads were very popular.

  2. The Eight Themes that O'Henry uses are:

    The Gift of the Magi written by O. Henry is a little drama of mutual self-sacrifice between husband and wife that encapsulates what the world in all its stored-up wisdom knows to be indispensable or ordinary family life. Unselfish love shared, regardless of the attendant difficulties or distractions, is the idea implied again as a major criterion in the treatment of domestic affairs.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work