The Theme of Love

Powerful Essays
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 ... 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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