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

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

Length: 1962 words (5.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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...


... middle of paper ...


...most
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.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »