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The Theme of Love in Poetry Essay

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The Theme of Love in Poetry

I have chosen to compare four poems, the first one is 'Porphyrias
Lover'. It is written by Robert Browning who died in 1889. The second
poem, 'My Last Duchess', is also by Robert Browning. Browning was a
great poet in the Victorian age and married Elizabeth Barratt. The
third poem is called 'First Love'. It is written by John Clare
(1793-1864). The final poem is 'Ballad'. It is an anonymous poem as
no-one knows who wrote ballads. This is because they are word of mouth
and are passed down through many generations going through minor
changes each time and therefore by the end they become a completely
different poem to the one in the beginning.

The three poets write about the same theme but, as expected, have many
differences and similarities with each other in their writing
techniques. Obviously, the two poems by Robert Browning will be very
similiar to each other. 'Porphyrias Lover' and 'My Last Duchess are
both written from a mans point of view . This shows that Browning has
used the same approach to both of the poems. Maybe he wants to make a
point of men not always being listened to and so writes both poems
with a biased interpretation of the event.

'Porphyrias Lover' is about a girl named Porphyria who seduces a man
who is possesive and undoubtedly insane. Some of the techniques included
in Porphyria's Lover are Pathetic Fallacy, endstopped lines, personification,
metaphors and en jambement. The poem begins using pathetic fallacy
(the weather and atmosphere outside reflect the girls feelings) and
personification of the wind, 'The sullen wind was soon awake', to set
the scene.

Straight away we feel edgy around this man because he says, 'I
listened with heart fit to ...


... middle of paper ...


...ou are in one of the
characters positions and that you understand exactly how they feel. En
jambement gives a sense of disorder. It becomes too regular if only
endstopped lines are used in the poem although it does control difficult
explanations.

The obvious difference between all the poems, is the structure and
regular rhythm and rhyme patterns. Porphyria's Lover is constructed
using alternate rhyming lines with roughly eight syllables to each line
whereas My Last Duchess is written in rhyming couplets with ten
syllables to each line. As these patterns are even, they create a
sense of balance and control within the poem, especially if the lines
are endstopped. If on the otherhand, there is en jambement present, the
poem is still effective and probably even more so because it adds a
bit of life and irregularity instead of the constant even beat.


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