The Theme Of Love In The Poems First Love, To His Coy Mistress, Porphyria's Lover, My Last Duchess And Shall I Compare Thee?

3143 words - 13 pages

The Theme of Love in the Poems First Love, To His Coy Mistress, Porphyria's Lover, My Last Duchess and Shall I Compare Thee?

A reader of a love poem has a specific. Prejudiced view of love
poetry. Generally, it is that love poetry is sentimental and
flattering. It is supposed to talk about flowers and chocolates,
romance and passion from one person to another. The reader expects
imagery of harts and roses, and cliched similes and metaphors. An
affectionate and caring tone should be used. The should be honest,
sentimental and, above all, romantic.

However, this is often not the case. Love can be portrayed as
passionate and sexual, romantic and caring, destructive and
heartbreaking, and, unfortunately, possessive and deadly.

The types of love in a poem can be reflected in many ways. One of
these ways is the structuring of the poem. "To His Coy Mistress" has a
syllogism structure, the first stanza is the 'if', from the 'if, but,
so' syllogism argument. This is shown in the first line 'Had we but
world enough, and time'. This stanza also uses many hyperboles to
emphasise the writers love for his mistress, such as 'love you ten
years before the flood', meaning that he would love her forever, and
then ten years. As the main theme of this poem is sex, many physical
references are made, such as 'two hundred to adore each breast'. The
main purpose of this stanza is to compliment the mistress to show how
great it would be if they had enough time, as they could 'walk and
pass our long days/by the Indian Ganges side'. This is a very romantic
scene, and the mistress would feel complimented by it. There are very
few references to the personality and character of his mistress, ad
this shows that Marvell is only interested in sex. However, like most
of this poem, it can be taken another way. Marvell mocks romantic
convention by using blatant double entendres such as 'my vegetable
love should grow'. This can be taken romantically, about his love
growing, or as a sexual phallic image. This also hints at his attitude
towards women - that they are his, to be used for whatever he wishes.

Things change a lot by the second stanza. It is the 'but' part of the
syllogism. Marvell says that they do not have enough time for all of
the romantic things in the first stanza, so they should go on ahead
and have sex. To illustrate the point that he is running out of time,
he personifies time 'I always hear/times winged chariot hurrying
near'. This verifies the fact that they will not be able to have sex
soon, if they don't do it now. He says that ahead lie 'deserts of vast
eternity', meaning that if she doesn't have sex with him, she will
have noting to look forward to, because she will no longer be
desirable. The writer than goes on to say that if she doesn't, she
will die a virgin. He uses vulgar and...

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