The Theme of Love

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The Theme of Love “Romantic love, physical love, unrequited love, obsessive love.” Compare the ways the poets have written about the theme of love, bringing out different aspects of it. In the six poems I have studied, I see a wide range of different types of love mentioned. I will be looking at 3 poems in depth. These are: “Porphyria’s Lover”, written by Robert Browning, “My Last Duchess”, written by the Duke of Ferrara and “To His Coy Mistress”, written by Andrew Marvell. When it comes to romantic love, “To His Coy Mistress” contains some elements of it. “To His Coy Mistress” also includes aspects of physical love. When it comes to unrequited love, “Porphyria’s Lover” and “To His Coy Mistress” hold a large scale in them. “My Last Duchess” also includes shades of unrequited love. “Porphyria’s Lover” and “My Last Duchess” contain features of obsessive love. In my essay, I would like to pay particular attention to unrequited love because it shows how the women in the poems are seen as a possession, which the men must rightfully have. I will also look at aspects of obsessive love. “To His Coy Mistress” is not generally positioned in this type of love as the poem does not really contain obsessive love, but in my opinion it can be placed in the category as the speaker is pressuring the girl into having sex with him and he wants her to sleep with him now. He is being seen as obsessive and wanting things his way, immediately. This can be seen when he says: “HAD we but world enough, and time…” This shows that time is short and wasting away. This quote is important as it is a powerful opening, stressing the impact of time upon them. I will first compare “Porphyria’s Lover” and “My Last Duchess... ... middle of paper ... ...it just for pleasure? The narrator is transparent in what he wants. He only wants his mistress for sex and pleasure. The poem starts with the pronoun “we” but as the poem progresses, it starts to separate into individuals: “I” and “thou”. At the end, it turns back to “us”. The first stanza of the poem makes the reader think that it is a love poem, when really it is a lust poem. The narrator uses the images of fear and lost opportunity and time as a threat to the woman. The writers, in the poems that I have compared, bring out love in different ways. There are different tactics involved, which is what I think make all these poems unique and interesting to read. Each poem brings about different types of love. The poems all try to get the women they think they rightfully deserve, except for “My Last Duchess” where he is obsessive about his woman.

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