Wednesday, December 11, 2019
How do the following 19th century poets deal with the theme of love Essay Example For Students
How do the following 19th century poets deal with the theme of love Essay I have been analysing several poems recently they are: When We Two Parted by Lord Byron, First Love by John Clare, Villegiature by Edith Nesbitt, Remember Christina Rossetti and How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barratt Browning. In this essay I intend to go into detail about how these poets explore the theme of love and the different elements of this emotion. The poets write from both the female and male perspective and write about their own accounts of love. Whilst some write about the utter joy love brings, a number of others tell us of the dark depressing feelings at the end of a relationship. The first poem I am going to write about is When We Two Parted, Lord Byron. Byron was infamous for his controversial relationships, once involving his own cousin. The poem is a personal account of grief resulting from the end of a secret, passionate relationship. Byron uses images of sadness to demonstrate the heart-rending emotions. In silence and tears, Half broken-hearted These lines emphasise his feeling of grief. Why silence? It could be because it is a forbidden love and that is the reason why they have to cry in silence. The word tears clarify it was a painful loss. Also he uses the phrase Half broken-hearted because his heart was broken but her heart wasnt. The poet uses emotive language to communicate the feeling of loss. To sever for years He uses the word sever to highlight that this was not a passive separation but a reluctant one. Also it gives the impression that there isnt a good chance of this relationship being rekindled. The womans character is negative. Colder thy kiss This is evidence that her feelings towards him grew cold and she loved him no more, breaking the poets heart and therefore the poet describes her in a negative way. The promises she makes are broken Thy vows are all broken She was married, broken vows refer to broken promises. When you marry somebody you must be faithful, and she broke her promise having an affair. But he might also refer to the vows she made to himself: she promised him love but now she changed her mind and decided to abandon him and be faithful to her husband, which, of course, is the right thing to do for her, but breaks the mans heart. She is lucky to be able to return to her husband. And light is thy fame This indicates she is lucky because her husband does not know and now she can continue with her marriage as if nothing had happened, whereas Byron, the poet, is left with nothing. It is also written in a formal archaic prayer like fashion which might mean Byron is comparing love to religion. The poet is shameful about what happened. I hear thy name spoken, And share in its shame. His tone is shameful; he feels the pain of their sin when he hears her name. Every time he hears her name, he remembers they had an illicit relationship and feels shameful about it. When people speak of the woman the lover finds this traumatising. They name thee before me, A knell to mine ear; Her name feels like a knell, a slow sad bell at a funeral. Again, Byron speaks of this woman as if she was dead, because thats how he feels about their relationship. The man is regretful of meeting the woman. Long, long shall I rue thee Too deeply to tell. This canto signifies that he is regretful for having met her, and too sad to express it. His feeling of regret is so intense that he cant express it with words (too deeply to tell) Lord Byron becomes reminiscent about his and her short intense meetings, but looks back in sadness as she forgot these all too soon. In secret we met In silence I grieve That thy heart could forget, Thy spirit deceive. He remembers their hidden love encounters and he feels depressed because her heart forgot their short but intense love. He cant say anything about it, so he suffers in silence, he cant talk about it. He suffers because she forgot their love and her spirit deceived him maybe by making him think she would love him forever. Also the poet uses short, staccato lines to intensify his feelings. He then goes onto talk about what should happen if they were to meet again. He says he would be bitter. He uses irony to get the picture across of his grief. If I should meet thee After long years, How should I greet thee With silence and tears. He would pretend not to know her, as they always did but he would silently cry in sorrow. This may be because he cant let people know he knows her, or because he thinks he cant talk to her anymore. Ironic lines are used as they are the same as the opening lines but for completely different reasons. First Love by John Clare is the second poem I shall analyse. In the poem Clare describes the first moment when love strikes. Love at first sight. A completely unfamiliar experience for him, but one that he will never forget. I neer was struck before that hour With love so sudden and so sweet These two lines show Clares mental shock as he describes how he has never been made immovable by looking at a woman, he was transfixed by her. Also it demonstrates how powerful the feeling of love is. In the poem the John Clare uses natural imagery to express his passion towards his first love Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower And stole my heart away complete This canto uses positive similes to portray a natural image of the poets emotions. He also tries to use the similes to paint a picture of a pure, sweet girl in the readers mind. John Clares use of natural images might be down to his rural upbringing in Northamptonshire. Ozymandias Poetry Analysis EssayThe poet builds the atmosphere by describing the dream and how he complimented her. Gives the reader the thought that he might not be so bad after all. Od, dear! what pretty things you said He complimented her and declared his love to her in the dream but then she goes on to say What pearls of song you threaded for me! which is sarcastic so the reader then understands what the woman thinks of the man. Nesbit shocks the audience with a drastic change to the poems content. I did not-till your ghost had fled- Remember how you always bore me! This ending gives a surprise when read by the reader. The last line is an example of a Bathos which is when the language changes from a high complexity down to a basic level. It adds a dramatic feel towards the womans feelings for the man. Remember by Christina Rossetti is the fourth poem I shall examine. The poem is a loving, yet sad, request. How Rossetti resolves the conflict she presents in the poem reflects the way she handled similar dilemmas in her own life. The opening line of Rossettis sonnet introduces the idea of separation, but we do not know if the speakers departure is because she has chosen to leave her lover or because she is dying it is not immediately clear. But when the second line is read, the reader understands what is happening. Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land The opening line also portrays the speakers desire to be remembered, and she requests her lover to do just that. As the canto unfolds, the reader understands that death will divide the couple, and the initial hint of that is the phrase silent land to describe the place the speaker is going. During the first half of the poem the poet uses imperative words to give orders to the dying persons lover. Remember me when no more day by day This line shows how the dying lover believes that as they are dying then the other person is morally obliged to obey the orders. Christina Rossetti uses euphemisms for death to make the reading more bearable for the lover who this sonnet is addressed to. silent land and And afterwards remember These quotes show that they still care for their lover, as they use euphemisms which tell you they care about their lovers feelings. There is a change in the poem where the ailing lover becomes less certain. Yet if you should forget me for a while This line contains verbs which are qualified by if and should, which shows uncertainty in what they think is going to happen. The tone of the poem changes in the last couple of lines. Better by far you should forget and smile Than remember and be sad The tone becomes lighter and softer because of the guilt of hurting the beloved who shall be left behind. It signifies how much they care about their lover if they are telling them they would rather have them discard their memory of them and be happy. Rather than remember them and grieve. The poem is a sonnet split into an eight line section and then a six. The first half of argument is about the regret of a lost future together while the second half is guilt for making those left behind sad. The fifth and final poem I shall study is How Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. A poem which seems as if it is an answer to a question from a lover. The lover seems to have questioned her love for them. The poet uses comparisons to express the quantity of the love. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight These comparisons mean the size of live is infinity, Love cannot be measured. They are trying to convince her lover that they are loved more than anyone else and anyone before. Elizabeth Barratt Browning continuously repeats the phrase I love thee. This repetition builds intensity. The poet compares her feelings to words associated with religion. For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. The fact that her emotions are being compared to religion shows how powerful her love must be, seeing as religion was taken a lot more seriously during those times. The poet also shows that the persons love does not fade during the day, it is strong always. I love thee to the level of every days Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light These lines demonstrate the strength of the love, the poet is saying that it doesnt matter if it is day or night, the feelings shall not change. The poet goes to the extreme of saying that if either of the two lovers die, the person whose feelings have been questioned shall remain constant. I shall but love thee better after death. This line ends the poem and makes the reader think that the person who questioned must be satisfied with the response from their lover, as it demonstrates the integrity of their love. In conclusion, I believe that after analysing all the poems, I have reached the verdict that the poets deal with the theme of love in many different ways. John Clare uses description and emotion to express the beauty of love at first sight. Elizabeth Barratt Browning gives a list of explanations answering the question in the title How Do I Love Thee. Christina Rossetti uses a sonnet to explore both love and loss. Edith Nesbit expresses the theme of love and the intensity of the emotion after time. Lord Byron describes the feelings at the end of a relationship and uses cold images to describe sadness and gloom. From these poems I have learnt that love is an extremely powerful emotion and that it can be felt in many different ways, for example passion, sadness, bitterness and frustration.