Compare and contrast how three poets (in four poems) explore love and
In this essay, I will be looking at the poems First Love (John Clare),
My Last Duchess (Robert Browning), Porphyria's Lover (Robert Browning)
and To His Coy Mistress (Andrew Marvell). I will refer to these poems
as FL, MLD, PL, and HCM respectively. I will first be looking at what
love can do to ones emotions, and then at what people can be capable
Clare has managed to convey what love can do if it is not recognised
in his poem, FL. In the last stanza of this poem, he asks the
rhetorical questions of whether love's bed is "always snow" and if
flowers are "winters choice." By this I think he is questioning the
reader if that when such a perfect woman that can take "sight away"
and make "blood burn" round ones heart is found, the love for that
woman can destroy a man so that his heart leaves its "dwelling-place"
to "return no more."
In contrast to FL, Marvell's poem HCM depicts the jealousy of a man
whose wife is so beautiful that every man admires her. He manages to
depict this beauty using hyperboles and metaphors. For instance, in
the first stanza, Marvell describes the man's love for his mistress as
"Vaster than empires" which implies that it is great, but this is
exaggerated, or a hyperbole. He also uses the phrase "Times wingÃ¨d
chariot" to indicate death, or the process of ageing. He then goes on
in the last stanza to request to his mistress to "sport while we
may," or, in other words, to make love to him whilst they are both
young. In my opinion, Marvell is trying to show that jealousy can make
a person lust for things in a relationship before it is ready.
In an even greater contrast to both of the above poems, Browning's two
poems - MLD and PL both seem to be showing what people are capable of
doing in a relationship, if they think it is right. In MLD, for
instance, the duke had his last duchess killed, because he believes
she is, to put it in modern day terms, a flirt. We can see that he
believes this is the case and that it is otherwise when the duke
states that it was not only him that brought a "spot of joy" to her
cheek. He believed this was because she was being, excited, by another
man, but he...