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In the poems Porphyrias Lover, First Love and La Belle Dame Sans Merci a range of experiences affected by love are exposed

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Charlotte Clements 11H Compare and contrast the work of three different poets and show their varying portrayals of love. You should also refer to the poets? use of style and language. Different forms of love are explored in love poetry, some look at the happiness and joy typically associated with love whilst others expose the depressive heartache and vulnerability that people experience when they are in love. In the poems ?Porphyria?s Lover?, ?First Love? and ?La Belle Dame Sans Merci? a range of experiences affected by love are exposed. ?First Love? explores the physical and emotional affects of unrequited love much like in ?La Belle Dame Sans Merci? where the poet examines the overpowering nature of love and lastly an obsessive and more sinister side of love is captured in ?Porphyria?s Lover?. Each poem focuses upon a different theme of love challenging the stereotypical idea of the effects, actions and emotions associated with love. In the poem ?First Love?, Clare explores the overwhelming and devastating effects of unrequited love. The effect of this type of love is distressing with powerful physical and emotional effects which are conveyed in Clare?s actions which leave him vulnerable. Clare was ?struck? by the emotional force of love conveying the sudden and unexpected nature of the situation. The use of onomatopoeia in the word ?struck? creates a harsh sounding word reflecting the way in which love came over him. ...read more.


?. Keats discovers the knight ?alone and palely loitering? and tries to understand his situation. It is as if death is reflecting off of his face with ?a lily on thy (his) brow?. Lilies are typically associated with death exposing the depressing mood of the poem. When the knight first meets the ?faery women? the atmosphere of poem lightens and becomes a great deal happier in mood. Her ?hair was long, her foot was light? capturing the feminine and seductive nature of the ?faery lady? to which the knight is highly attracted to. This attraction and seduction is also found in ?Porphyria?s Lover? in where Porphyria acts in provocative manner when removing her damp clothes. Porphyria ?made her white shoulder bare? also allowing her ?damp hair fall?; this action is typically very feminine and attracts his passion. The ?faery lady? enchants the knight which is captured when he ?made a garland for her head? showing how much he adores her. The knight believes that the ?faery lady? is ?beautiful? and is clearly trapped by her love. The ballad form is entirely suitable for this poem. An iambic tetrameter beat is used throughout the poem with exception to the fourth line in each quatrain. The last line is shorter with less syllables and beats creating an incomplete feel. This effect draws the reader?s focus to the last lines conveying the incomplete love of which the knight feels for the faery lady. ...read more.


I found this shocking and disturbing to think that he would murder Porphyria in such a horrific way, Browning really grabs the reader?s attention at this pivotal moment in the poem. The enjambment used in the key lines of the poem captures the fluid movements of his actions reflecting his impulsive actions. Porphyria?s lover has a distorted perception of how the corpse of Porphyria reacts to him, after kissing her on the cheek she ?blushed bright beneath my (his) burning kiss?. He believes that although Porphyria is dead she is responding in a loving and passionate way. After the death of Porphyria there is a clear reversal of power, he has taken back the power which Porphyria once held as his ?shoulder bore her head?. This poem explores the dangerous obsessive love and how jealous can affect love. A main theme held in all three poems is the idea that women are unattainable. Women are idolised and portrayed as powerful and beautiful with the ability to make their admirers suffer physically and mentally. In ?First Love? and ?La Belle Dame Sans Merci? the victims of love feel the effects of love physically as they both turn pale, the experience of love for them both was one of unrequited love resulting in unhappiness. For ?Porphyria?s Lover? the jealousy of his lover?s ?Vainer ties? proved to be too overwhelming resulting in a shocking murder and deluded perception of what Porphyria wanted. In conclusion all three poems do not conform to the stereotypical view of love; they explore the unhappiness, torment and jealousy that are not typically associated with the experience of love. ...read more.

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