Compare How the Theme of Love Is Presented in a Selection of Pre-1914 Poetry

7665 WordsOct 30, 201031 Pages
Compare how the theme of love is presented in a selection of pre-1914 poetry The theme of love is a universal, timeless issue that has always been discussed and forever will be. People are searching for the true meaning of love and how it is different from person to person and from race to race. Everyone is amazed by how love can make people experience so many emotions and how love can bring sadness and happiness and confusion. ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ By John Keats and ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ by Robert Browning for example both share the common theme of love, both lovers had to depart their loved ones whether due to societal pressures or due to the fact that the lover is from a different world. However the idea of women having power…show more content…
Lilies are often associated with death in Western culture, so the "lily" on the knight's forehead doesn't bode well for him, so the speaker is employing a metaphor when he says that he "see a lily on thy brow." Besides the association with death, lilies are pale white, so a slightly less morbid reading of this line would be that the knight isn't dying, but is just sickly pale. Another flower that is mentioned in the poem is roses. Roses are often associated with love in Western culture (hence all the advertisements around Valentine's Day), but the knight's "rose" is "fading" and "withering." Sounds like a pretty clear metaphor for the end of a romantic relationship. But like the lily, the rose describes the knight's complexion. The rose is "fading" from the knight's "cheeks." So the rose metaphor is doing double duty – it's describing both his "fading" love affair, and his increasingly pale complexion. In ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ the speaker compares Porphyria's closed eyes to a closed flower "bud" with a "bee" inside. Is he afraid of getting stung by her eyes when she opens them again? Or is it a sexual metaphor, since bees, after all, pollinate flowers? Also the poet here uses alliteration (the repeated "b" sounds) that connects the "bud" and the "bee." The speaker also uses synecdoche by making Porphyria's "blue eyes" represent the whole woman

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