Compare The Ways Pre-1900 Poets Deal With The Subject Of Love.

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Eleanor Green                Compare The Ways Pre-1900

        Poets Deal With The Subject

   Of Love

In modern society there are different views on what love means: romantic,

platonic, passionate and possessive love. The dictionary definition of love reads

to have great attachment to and affection for” and “to have passionate

desire, longing feelings for” although every individual has a different notion of what love means, just as each of the poems chosen has a different meaning and it’s own idea: sexual, passionate, possessive and romantic.

From the time of 1600-1900 love, these times also had different meanings. I

have chosen the following poems: “To His Coy Mistress”, by Andrew Marvell, “First Love”, by John Clare and “Porphyria’s Lover”, by Robert Browning.

In the first poem, “First Love”, John Clare has no control over his feelings, actions or emotions for his lover. He describes her as “her face bloomed like a sweet flower” which he also uses as a simile as he is comparing her face to a flower and “she stole his heart”. His reaction towards her shows us he is love struck as “blood rushed to his face” and “took his sight away”.

Many people would describe love struck as ‘butterflies in the stomach’, ‘legs turn to jelly’ and you become ‘faint’.

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The poem is very physical, dramatic and romantic and has exaggerated his feelings because “his legs refused to walk” and “his life turned to clay”.

He compares his feelings to his life, as though his life has never had this effect on him as she has and his emotions are in turmoil.

The atmosphere is quite passionate even though his love for her is unrequited and he cannot move on from her.

The way she doesn’t respond to him makes the reader sympathise with Clare and anyone who has ever been is this position.

If not, they might ...

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