Theme of Love in Porhyria's Lover and My Last Duchess both Written by Robert Browning, First Love by John Clare and To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marv
- Length: 518 words (1.5 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
The theme of love can be expresses in many different ways. Each poem
that I have studied represents a different aspect of love. The four
poems I have studied are Porhyria's Lover and My Last Duchess both
written by Robert Browning, First Love by John Clare and To His Coy
Mistress by Andrew Marvel.
N.B make comparisons between the poems as you go along such as both
characters in the two Browning poems show possessive love. However in
PL the lover is possessive about Prophyria and in MLD the Duke shows
possessive love for his status and possessions.
Briefly explain what the poem is about. Points to make are that it's a
dramatic monologue. Browning uses imagery to set the scene and built
up suspense. The weathered is described as a thunderstorm, raining and
a spiteful wind in the opening two lines.
"The rain set in early tonight,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
And did its worse to vex the lake."
Mention the characters personality and how he acts. E.g. Insecurity.
He is cold towards Porphyria when she enters the cottage. He shows
possessive and obsessive love for porphyria.
My Last Duchess
Dramatic monologue. Explain that the Count has sent an ambassador to
get the Duke to marry the Count's daughter. He also shows possessive
love for money and his status. He shows this by boasting about his
possessions and you get the impression that he values the painting of
his wife more than her when she was alive. He shows jealousy and
implies that his last duchess was being unfaithful. He basically
admits that he killed her and shows that she was inferior to him when
"Who'd stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech-(which I have not)-to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, 'Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss"
He is basically saying that even if I was good with words I wouldn't
stoop to the level of his wife. He is above himself, that he is on a
golden pedestal and even one else is below him. He believes he can do
whatever he wants because he's The Duke of Ferrara!
Explain briefly what the poem is about. Romantic love. A personal
experience? Portrays his emotions through the physical effects of
which he describes. Dramatic effects, looses control over his body.
Shows unrequited love. He gives his love and heart to her when he
"My heart has left its dwelling place."
To His Coy Mistress
Is love shown here just lust? The character puts over a logical
argument to try and persuade and convince his mistress to make love
with him. Andrew Marvel writes the poem in a metaphorical and witty
way which entices the reader to think Is he serious? The argument he
puts across is that in a nutshell we haven't got all the time in the
world so let's make love. "Had we but enough, and timeâ€¦
But at my back I always hear
Times winged chariot hurrying near"
Cape Diem-Seize the day!
However this is concealed by the way the argument is put across. If
they had all the time in the world he would admire this and take 100
years to praise this and that about her. He puts in a double entendre
when he says,
"Till the conversion of the Jews
My vegetable love should grow"
By this he means that he will always want to make love with her, not
that he will always love vegetables.
Explain how he describes time. E.g. Biblically, geographically and
relates it to her. Give examples.
Sum up what you have found out about how the poets discuss love.
Compare the different aspects of love and effectively find out and
explain the motives for each type of love in the poems.