• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

How have the poets I have studied explored the different aspects of love?

Extracts from this document...


How have the poets I have studied explored the different aspects of love? In the Victorian and Elizabethan times there were many poems, which explored the aspect of love. The metaphysical group of poets explored the whole experience of man, which was usually romantic or sensual. The poems I will talk about are "The Flea" by John Donne (1572-1631), "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell (1621-78), "The Sick Rose" by William Blake (1757-1827), "A Woman To Her Lover" by Christina Walsh in the Victorian era and "Upon Julia's Clothes" by Robert Herrick (1591-1674). These poems cover lust, an aspect of love, and this was very controversial in the Victorian and Elizabethan times. Lust was very controversial in those times as it went against social codes and religion. Lust and desires are known for being part of the seven deadly sins. The subject of sex was a taboo and was not an overt subject of conversation. Poems such as "The Ruined Maid" also include the subject of a woman's virginity was deemed as precious and a woman was considered 'soiled' if they had sex before marriage. The poets used romance as a 'cover' for deeper issues such as politics. The poets explore these different aspects of love through a variety of poetic forms like as a sonnet, ballad, dramatic monologues or metaphysical poems. Metaphysical poems are lyric poems. They are brief, characterized by striking use of wit, irony and wordplay. Beneath the formal structure is the underlying structure of the poem's argument. ...read more.


Here Donne as the narrator is exaggerating using a hyperbole to convince his lady that the death of the flea would mark the death of their love. Similarly in 'To His Coy Mistress' Marvell uses a hyperbole as a form of persuasion from lines 5-8: Thou by the Indian Ganges' side Shouldst rubies find; ...' Here Marvell is exaggerating that the gentleman would do if he had time. Marvell mostly uses persuasion by trying to scare the gentleman's lover and uses imageries of time and deaths: 'Time's winged chariot hurrying near; And yonder all before us lie Deserts of vast Eternity.' The gentleman is saying she should, therefore, sleep with him and not waste her life. Here Marvell uses a metaphor, 'Time's winged chariot hurrying near', and he is saying that time is running, out and expresses this by saying the chariot is time and its hurrying near, so they must sleep with each other before time is over. Donne on the other hand cleverly uses a flea as an extended metaphor throughout the poem. Marvell's use of wit in 'To His Coy Mistress' to persuade his lover to have sex with him is engineered into form of a pun: 'Thus, though we cannot make our sun Stand still, yet we will make him run' He is saying here that though we cannot extend our lives, we can shorten them in sexual relations. The pun here is the use of sun is a homophone of son. Therefore having sexual relations may lead to a son and the use of this makes reference to sleeping with each other. ...read more.


They tried to control their lovers to do what they want and this is evident in the persuasive techniques used by both Donne and Marvell. The sexual imagery used by Donne in 'The Flea' depicts a man's view in those times, of only having a physical relationship with their lovers. Herrick in 'Upon Julia's Clothes' also has a dominant theme of lust and uses sexual connation like Donne and Marvell has done. Both Donne and Marvell use syllogism and I like metaphysical poems very much, like 'To His Coy Mistress', because reading those poems is filled of surprises and you can never imagine how the poet be so creative to take the flood, the Jews or the worms in graves to link with his great love and lust; the flea links to their sexual relationship. Walsh's poem, 'A Woman to Her Lover' explores a woman's view of a marriage and her relationship with her lover. This poem reinforces that in those times men wanted their lovers to please them and made them act like slaves. It also portrays that women were extremely religious and it is evident that they are reluctant to have sex before marriage. 'The Sick Rose' shows the dangers that having sex before marriage will turn the woman into an outcast and this again shows that these were the problems the society had in those times. It reveals the darker side of love/lust which was portrayed to be good by Marvell, Herrick and Donne in their poems. So these poems using many literary devices show what love was depicted by both men and women in those times. ...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

    Analysis of "The Sick Rose"Written by William Blake.

    3 star(s)

    It is also a symbol of blood, or the remains of the crime. The joy here may be the rapist's joy. The seventh line "And his dark secret love" could refer to sex; it seems to be a bad and sinister love.

  2. These poems portray love in different ways, discuss - Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare ...

    in getting what he wants, unlike the flea, which has just gone and done it! In the second stanza he starts in the same way as the first stanza, commanding her. He tries to prevent her from hurting the flea as he argues that there is more than one life

  1. An analysis of a passage of verse or prose written between 1590-1700, explaining the ...

    The first part is once again stating his devotion, however in the second he seems more sentimental, and so this part should be spoken with a deep emotion and a certain softness in the voice. Verse five is the most serious and effecting verse.

  2. Compare 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell to 'Upon Julia's Clothes' by Robert ...

    lot of love for her but also wants it to last forever but he still tries to trick her into having sex with him. Upon Julia clothes is brief because the poet sees Julia in a fleeting moment. Herrick love is not deep enough to be long.

  1. 'Why would someone wait until marriage to have sex? What benefit is there? Why ...

    Is racism 'meant to be' acceptable, or not acceptable? What prevents me from making my own 'relative' moral code, and say that I can be and act racist? By what basis are you telling me I am 'wrong.' Or why should I not lie to you, or steal from you?

  2. Compare the ways in which 3 poets write about relationships.

    the extremes the speaker is prepared to go to in order to get what he wants, he is trying to give her negative thoughts of what will happen if she rejects him. As mentioned before, the poem was written in the 17th century in an era which girls normally married as virgins and usually at a very young age.

  1. How do two poems you have studied explore the differences between men and womens ...

    Therefore it could be considered her that Marvell is being very insulting, because he is implying that she not good enough to get any one else, and she has no choice but to stay with him. Here again we can see a difference between men and women?s experience of love, as Marvell thinks he owns his mistress forever.

  2. In the following poems: John Donnes The Flea, Andrew Marvells To His Coy Mistress ...

    lover to have sex with him, however she refuses his advances as she is attached to her virginity. Although it is not as phallic as other poems he wrote such as 'To His Mistress Going To Bed' it is in many ways more effective in achieving its aim by depending on the essential conceit of the flea.

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