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How is the Theme of 'Love' Differently Treated in the Poems

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How is the Theme of 'Love' Differently Treated in the Poems "First Love", "To His Coy Mistress", "Porphyria's Lover", "My Last Duchess" and "Shall I Compare Thee"? A reader of a love poem has a specific. Prejudiced view of love poetry. Generally, it is that love poetry is sentimental and flattering. It is supposed to talk about flowers and chocolates, romance and passion from one person to another. The reader expects imagery of harts and roses, and cliched similes and metaphors. An affectionate and caring tone should be used. The should be honest, sentimental and, above all, romantic. However, this is often not the case. Love can be portrayed as passionate and sexual, romantic and caring, destructive and heartbreaking, and, unfortunately, possessive and deadly. The types of love in a poem can be reflected in many ways. One of these ways is the structuring of the poem. "To His Coy Mistress" has a syllogism structure, the first stanza is the 'if', from the 'if, but, so' syllogism argument. This is shown in the first line 'Had we but world enough, and time'. ...read more.


the second stanza, Clare depicts how much he loves her by using metaphors such as 'words from my heart did start', describing how his heart yearns for her. He also describes how 'the trees and bushes around the place/seemed midnight at noonday', which shows how his love for her has blinded and confused him. This is, of course, exaggerated, but reflects very well the feelings of the writer. The last stanza is extremely sad. The write uses rhetorical questions such as 'Are flowers the winters choice', which indicates that he is cold and lonely, like winter, and the girl he has fallen in love with is a flower. He says that a flower cannot be with winter, which is very true. He says that he 'never saw so sweet a face', which exhibits his belief that he will never find someone else that he loves, and that 'his heart has left its dwelling place/and can return no more', meaning that he can never love again because the girl has taken all of his love. This part of the poem is depressing and as such gives the reader a good indication of the characters emotions. ...read more.


This personification of summer emphasises the fact that summer, like people, has its shortcomings. He says that summer is too hot, while she is mild, that it is often clouded, though she is always perfect, and that she is gentle rather than shaking "the darling buds of Maie". The structure of the poem also shows love for the lady. Sonnet form is used, which is the traditional form of love poetry. The iambic pentameter resembles a heartbeat and the rhyme scheme of ABAB shows that it is organised and tightly structured. This suggests that the poem is a careful and reasoned argument, and that he has put a lot of effort into complimenting her. This is the only poem so far to link up with the first impression of love poetry. It is different by a long shot to "My Last Duchess" because it shows that Shakespeare accepts the woman as a person and is happy to compliment her, unlike the duke, who would like to be complimented. It is quite similar to "First Love", as it depicts the woman as someone of great beauty. "Porphyria's Lover" is the last of the five poems. It is the most extreme of all the poems. It begins by setting the scene with reference to the weather, such as "the sullen wind was soon awake". ...read more.

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