Love and Marriage in Poetry
In this assignment I shall be talking about the attitudes to love and
marriage, which these three poems reveal as well as their similarities
and their differences. The three poems I shall be focusing on are 'How
Do I Love Thee?' which was written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning;
'Remember', by Christina Rossetti; and Lord Byron's 'When we two
parted'. These three love poems are from the Victorian Era which
spanned over half a century. I shall be analysing the language, which
will lead me into an understanding of the meaning of each poem and
also the structure. In brief, two of these poems not only talk about
love's eternal qualities, but also about death and the pain of
separating. They are unanimously romantic in tone, religious in
outlook and hauntingly beautiful.
Victorian marriages were normally strict, a good thing for men, but
bad for women. Women were not allowed to make their own decisions in
marriage, but if they did and the father found them, he would separate
them. When the father married the daughter off, they sometimes got
unlucky and ended up with a husband who did not love the lady but just
used them as servants and for their body. In the Victorian Era, ladies
had no freedom what so ever, they were not allowed to have their own
houses, furniture, money; this all belonged to the husband. If some
women cannot stand the brutal behaviour, they either ran away or
committed suicide. In most cases, ladies tended to run away, but if
they did and made some money then unfortunately, if the husband finds
them, he will take all the money away. This was actually legal.
Not all Victorian marriages ended up like the above, some actually
loved each other strongly, for example Queen Victoria's marriage was
ideal in those days. They were so in love; to prove this, when
Victoria's husband died, she was utterly heart broken and she promised
herself that she would wear black from then on for rest of her life.
The attitude in all three of the poems is rather similar to Queen
Victoria's strong feeling of love. All three display intense emotions
for their partners, whether they are still together or not.
'How Do I Love Thee?' has the strongest link. 'Remember' is also a
love poem but is sad in its circumstances, and 'When We two parted' is
about separating but still there's a lot of love on the poet's side.
In 'How Do I Love Thee' the poem represents true love and moral love.
The poet uses a rhetorical question and starts to answer it. The poem
is a love sonnet. The starting line is a rhetorical question, and then
the rest of the thirteen lines are the many answers to this question.
The poem has got a short introduction to it. The poet tells the
audience how she loves him at the present moment but also gives a good
ending by moving onto their...