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In this piece of coursework I will be comparing six different poems
(pre-1915) to see the ways in which love is compared and presented.
'Porphyria's lover' written by Robert Browning the basic plot is a
woman who has an obsessed lover who loves Porphyria deeply. The lover
thinks that no one is good enough for her. And for some reason
Porphyria cannot commit to her lover for reasons that are not stated
in the poem. It could be Porphyria has already got commitments or the
lover does not want to be seen with her in public. The lover is deeply
obsessed with her though still 'I looked up at her eyes, happy and
Although he is too obsessed and in a surprise whilst cuddling up to
her grabs her hair 'In one long yellow string'. 'I wound three times
her little throat around' then in a bizarre twist 'strangled her'. He
was to ensure she felt no pain he, did this because he thought she was
too good for anyone and he was overwhelmingly obsessed. This poem has
an element of surprise as you think they are having an obsessive
affair when Porphyria's lover just goes and kills her.
Porphyria's lover is a poem which is very much the same as the beggar
woman written by William king is all about a beggar woman and a
Gentleman. The Gentleman decided to lure the beggar woman into the
forest in order to seduce her. The beggar woman went willingly but it
becomes obvious from their conversation that she has an illegitimate
child tied to her back. We presume that the gentleman is his father
and he has taken to responsibility for the 'bastard´ child. The
gentleman suggests that they make love but the beggar woman fears for
the child's safety. The gentleman 'desperate´ to seduce the begger
woman offers to have the child tied to his back; this had obviously
been the beggar woman's plan. She had out witted him and ran off
leaving him with the child tied to his back.
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because the beggar woman who is quite low in role has outwitted a
Gentleman who is seen to be high in the public eye.
This is why both the poems are alike because they both throw a
surprise. This makes the poems more interesting and makes you want to
read on because you wonder what other twists and turns, it can throw
at you. This also builds up tension, and makes the poems more
interesting by having different endings.
More poems that are alike are 'How do I love thee' and 'Shall I
compare thee to a summer's day'. 'How do I love thee' is written by
Elizabeth Barret Browning and is simply about how someone loves
someone else so much and deeply there trying to think how much they
love one another. The poem tries to compare how they love each other
'I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and
candlelight'. The poem constantly compares everyday things to love
(basically lots of similes). 'I love thee with the passion' and the
poem also says that there love will just grow stronger 'shall but love
thee better after death'.
'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?' Is a poem written by William
Shakespeare and is simply trying to compare the beauty of a hot
summer's day to someone who he was deeply in love too. Shakespeare
uses clever text to compare the two 'Thou art more lovely and more
temperate' and he also tries to explain that her summer never ends.
The poem rhymes e.g. (see, thee) this makes the poem more readable and
the poem therefore is more flowing. Also the poem uses lots of good
similes to create effect and give the poem some depth.
The way that the two poems are extremely similar is that they both
have the same language and poetic devices. They also have the same
type of text in them which makes reading them sound very similar and
makes you think about love in the same way. They both use similes to
present the way they feel about the love and present this in the text.
Similarities also are they both end in a positive note e.g. 'so long
lives this, and this gives life to thee' also 'shall but love thee
better after death'.
Two more poems that are the same 'Cousin Kate' and 'My last Duchess'.
They are similar because they are both have something to do with being
used and manipulated into a false love. In 'Cousin Kate' it says 'Your
love was writ in sand' as if to say the love will get washed away
after a little time. Like on the beach where you write something and
it gets completely phased out by the waves. In 'My last Duchess' we
can also tell the love is fake by 'The curtain I have drawn for you'
the lord who used his last duchess is saying he has drawn a curtain
for her so she can never look back or in to their past relationship.
This gives us an impression that the lord is a cold hearted bitter man
who just uses girls with no heart to love them with. Both poems use
similes to show how love is making them feel, and react. Also they use
the same text e.g. 'thou', they talk about their feeling e.g. 'I sit
and howl at dusk'. This gives the reader an impression that they are
reflecting a lot in the poem and looking back on their past lovers and