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Love poem comparisons

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Introduction

What different views of love are shown in the poetry you have read? The speakers in the poetry studied show love in very different ways and their attitudes frequently contrast with the popular attitudes towards relationships of the time period. The poems that I will be focusing on are; 'How do I love thee?' by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 'A woman to her lover' by Christina Walsh and 'When we two parted' by Lord Byron. All these poems were written in the Victorian era and are also known as part of the pre-1914 poetry. During the Victorian period, poetry was seen as the most acceptable form of writing. I will be placing the poems in context of the Victorian era. As well as analysing the language and the meaning of the poem, I will also explore the form and structure of each poem. In the Victorian era there were different attitudes towards women's rights compared with today. Prostitution was frowned upon, women used to cover up their bodies well and had no voting rights. Having an affair with another man meant the woman would be an outcaste to society much more than the man, even if it were the opposite situation. ...read more.

Middle

'How I love thee?' also links to Shakespeare's poem, 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?' as they are both written in sonnet form. The Shakespearean sonnet, however, has a different structure to the petrarchan sonnet. Shakespeare's sonnet uses rhyming couplets and more complex language to communicate love. This could be because the Shakespearean sonnet is from the Elizabethan period and Browning' sonnet is from the Victorian period. 'A woman to her lover' is about a woman who wants to break tradition and boundaries to find her perfect love. Walsh declares she wants a true and pure lover who will treat her equally. Her attitude towards love is that love is the joining of two hearts and not just two bodies. She uses negative language to show she is a confident woman and is determined to find her true love. Walsh presents an argument in each of her first three stanzas. She says the phrase 'o lover I refuse you!' showing she's not desperate to have any man but a man who will purely love her. The first stanza in the poem represents slavery, 'No servant will I be'. The second stanza uses language to represent worship. ...read more.

Conclusion

The link between 'When we two parted' and 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?' is that they both experienced a love relationship which meant a lot to them so they could use language and rhythm for the different ways they remembered the one they loved truly. 'When we two parted' contrasts to 'How do I love thee?' and 'A woman to her lover' because the poet is a man. It was quite rare in the Victorian era for a man to talk emotionally about his feelings and thoughts towards love. In conclusion many different views of love are shown in the poetry I have read. I have learnt from the poems that love can be happy, sad and rebellious. 'How do I love thee?' shows us love is a happy and pure feeling. 'A woman to her lover' tells us you need to find true love with confidence and it has to be pure enough to be worthwhile. Lastly 'When we two parted' shows us when love has come to end it is very emotional and it is hard to forget about the one you loved. The poets have shown us many different views of love from their own personal experiences. Sonal Varsani 10E Pre-1914 Poetry English Coursework ...read more.

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