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

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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 personalit...

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people would like to feel is that in "Shall I Compare Thee" which

displays a staggering amount of compliments for the lady in the poem.

Overall these poems are very different in their portrayal of love, but

each manage to convey it to the reader exceedingly well through use of

structure (such as the dramatic monologue form of "My Last Duchess"

that shows his self centeredness and control), language (such as the

complementary language used in "Shall I Compare Thee"). Imagery is

also used effectively (as in "First Love" when Clare describes himself

as "winter" and girls as "flowers" to show that he does not comply

with them). The actual content used is also very effective as in "To

His Coy Mistress", where the syllogism and the tactics of complements

and frightening are used to, what is in my opinion, good effect.
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