• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The two poems I am studying are 'The Flea' by John Donne and 'Porthyria's Lover' by Robert Browning. The authors of both these poems approach the theme of love in very individual and original ways. I am going to examine both.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Laura Cowley Pre 20th Century poetry The two poems I am studying are 'The Flea' by John Donne and 'Porthyria's Lover' by Robert Browning. The authors of both these poems approach the theme of love in very individual and original ways. I am going to examine both. The poem 'Porthyria's Lover' is about a woman called Porthyria who is strangled to death by her lover. The man telling the story seems to want to keep Porthyria by his side forever. He has very obsessive love for her. He is possessive and jealous and his deadly mind games bring nothing but heartache for Porthyria. He wants their love to last forever and plans on doing this no matter what it takes. Porthyria's Lover totally adores her. On her arrival she made "all the cottage warm". When she entered the room she "shut out the cold" and nothing else mattered to him. Although its seems like he was been waiting for her he is very unresponsive as she called him and "no voice replied". As much as her seems to adore her he describes her gloves as "soiled", maybe saying that in his eyes she is not quite as innocent as she makes out to be. ...read more.

Middle

All this thoughts are sorted in his head and he is in a very rational state of mind. It is no surprise to himself he is going to kill Porthyria, maybe subconsciously he always knew. Throughout the poem there are rhyming couplets. Using these gives more emphasis at crucial points. Words are also out to the beginning or end of a line to also add more emphasis. Sentences are broken up to be left on their own. "And strangled her" is an example of this as is "surprise". This puts more emphasis on it and gives the reader the impression that he was maybe doubting Porthyria's commitment. The repetition of "mine" makes the reader that Porthyria's lover is not sure if she is really his. He is trying to convince himself. It is written in the first person narrative, which makes the poem seem more meaningful. An interesting point is that is that the word "he" is never mention once yet the reader assumes the lover is a man. The word "she" is used a lot in the poem and maybe this is to show the lovers unhealthy obsession with Porthyria that contributes to her murder. I think that the ending is effective. ...read more.

Conclusion

The poem also seems a bit too clever making the mistress and the reader doubt there is any warmth in it or if he really only wants sex. Lighthearted ideas are used to amuse. "The Flea" is an unconventional love poem that is very well thought out. Most love poems are about flowers and sunshine and this poem is about a flea, which is an original yet unusual idea. In both poems the poet is trying to convince someone that what the want or what they have done is right. In "Porthyria's Lover" he is trying to convince the reader, and himself, that killing Porthyria was the right thing to do where as in "The Flea" the poet is trying to convince his mistress to loose her "maidenhood". Porthyria and the mistress are both made out to be respectable women. They don't want to do anything to harm their "honour". For the mistress it means not loosing her virginity when she is not married and for Porthyria its not carrying on with two lovers as the poet suggests. There is a big contrast between the two poems. Although they are both love poems they are very different. In "Porthyria's Lover" the poet seems to really lover Porthyria but in the flea it seems as if the poet just wants to get his mistress in to bed. ...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. A Flea as a Marriage Bed

    he wishes to be with and so therefore the flea now represents their union or their marriage bed. He then goes on to explain that his beloved wishes to kill the flea and he begs her not to since it would be killing their union, him, and herself and she would therefore be committing three sins instead of merely one.

  2. Victorian Poems (damaging and destructive effects of love)

    This shows, despite the fact that she was attracted to the Earl, that she was consumed by jealousy. The word "hell" is often associated with evil and death, emphasising the severity of he jealousy. The hard "h" sounds, which occur throughout the phrase, also reflect her bitterness and jealousy.

  1. Essay on Much Ado About Nothing

    She stops talking in the rest of the play. Shakespeare's audience would have thought that this is a good thing because a woman was supposed to be quiet like Hero. When she was alone and not spoken her feelings about Benedick; she was very loud for a woman and she always argued and insulted Benedick.

  2. love poems

    " I saw pale kings and princes too, pale warriors, death-pale were they all, who cry'd--- 'La belle dame sans merci hath thee in thrall.'" This gives John Keats then the negative aspects of love it physical and emotional. "I see a lily on thy brow."

  1. First Love' by John Clare, 'Porphyria's Lover' by Robert Browning,My Last Duchess' by Robert ...

    He became aggravated that she did not treat him or his gift differently to anyone else, "as if she ranked My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name With anybody's gift." He believed his offer of marriage to her should have been treated better than all her other gifts because he saw marrying him as the best gift anyone could give.

  2. What have you found interesting about the ways Chaucer satirises the code of Courtly ...

    small rubible", yet the result of his pains is that he gets tricked by Alison and Nicholas and ends up reverting to being as vulgar as Alison and Nicholas. This is therefore demonstrating the earlier point that Chaucer is showing that Courtly Love does not work - people who pursue

  1. Explore the various and surprising ways in which Browning deals with the theme of ...

    depicts the way a Duchess should behave in the eyes of the Duke, and emphasizes that his last Duchess did not act in that manner.

  2. How has John Donne treated the theme of love in his poem Lovers ...

    The entire poem has been written in a well-structured manner of 3 paragraphs consisting 11 lines. Each paragraphs portrays a different aspect of Donne?s thoughts regarding his pining for his lover, aiding to a gradual build-up of a climatic ending to the poem.

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