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How are the themes of love and loss treated in the poems we studied ?

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03/04/2004 Anna Maarova GCSE Coursework: How are the themes of love and loss treated in the poems we studied ? In this essay, we are going to analyse five poems to study the way love and loss are treated in the pre-nineteenth century poems, "So, we'll go no more a roving" and "When we two parted" by Lord Byron, "Sonnet 116" by William Shakespeare, "How do I love thee?" by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and "Remember" by Christina Rossetti. After looking at the level of implication of each of the poets in their writing, we will show the way they treat the themes of love and loss. Written by William Shakespeare in the 16th century, "Sonnet 116" is the most ancient poem in this collection. It has fourteen lines and is structured into three quatrains and an ending couplet. The rhyme pattern is ABAB. The main differences with the other poetry is that Shakespeare doesn't get involved personally in his writing until the very last lines. He only speaks of love, not loss. There aren't any marks of his presence, he keeps the tone impersonal and neutral, thus his poem has a general outreach. He describes, explains what love really is and, mostly, what it isn't. He isn't indulgent with people who blame time or "impediments" on the vanishment of their love. ...read more.


"So, We'll Go No More a Roving" tells us in the title itself that the poet is going to talk about a separation, the end of a relationship. The use of "we" also makes this poem personal, the author writing about his own experience. It is a poem composed of three stanzas each of four lines. These quatrains are clearly distinguished, containing many run-on lines; there is a full stop at the end of each of them, creating a suprising regularity. A man is writing to a woman that they will be "no more a roving" in the middle of the night because his heart needs "rest". He does so in a detached, almost casual way, as if he was considering himself very generous and kind to relinquish her in this "gentle" way. The repetition of "night" and "moon" sets us in almost magical walks by the light of the moon. The poet justifies himself in the second stanzas where, not finding any valid reasons, he repeats himself by saying "outwears" and "wears out", "must pause" and "have rest". The simile between a "soul" locked in the "breast" and a "sword" in a "sheath" magnifies the importance of the message the poet wants the girl to understand. ...read more.


It proves she thinks more of him than of herself. This poem is both about love and memory after death, which is mentioned only through the use of metaphors. The most important one, "silent land" is inspired by various religions who see death as a peaceful land filled with wandering souls. This poem, touching the theme of loss from the point of view of the person who fears her death, enables us to see this feeling from another perspective. This collection of love poems has allowed us to look at the different ways authors deal with the emotions of love and loss. On the one hand, "Sonnet 116" by William Shakespeare is an explanatory and argumentative poem about what love should and should not be. He doesn't speak of his own emotions, it is not a personal poem. On the other hand, all of the other poems speak of personal experience and include a certain level of sentimentality. "How do I love Thee" and "Remember" are the most romantic and emotional poems, probably because they are written by women. We then have a man's point of view in Lord Byron's poems "So, We'll Go No More a Roving" and "When We Two Parted". He writes about the end of relationships and the loss of a loved one when these separations occur. He treats this theme in an extremely modern way, making his poems an interesting dramatised reading in a contemporary context. ...read more.

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