The two poems I will be writing about are 'Porphyrias lover' and 'To his coy mistress'. 'Porphyrias lover is written by Robert browning in the nineteenth century and 'to his coy mistress' was written by Andrew Marvell in the seventeenth century. In my essay I will be comparing the ways in which 'porphyrias lover' 'to his coy mistress' present views of love by, commenting on what they show about attitudes to love at the time.
In this poem a lady named Porphyria is in love with this man, both of the characters express their love for each other in many ways. The man also recounts on how he killed his lover Porphyria by strangling her with her own hair, he does this to keep her his forever. The poems themes of sex violence and madness would have been an interest to the audience.
'Porphyrias lover' shows love to be obsessive it also shows that love can lead to one killing their loved ones. It also shows that when people are in love they will do anything to stay together. The male who is in love with Porphyria shows desire and desperation as he uses repetition of the word 'mine' as he say's it as he owns her, but he also tries to hide his desperation and lust. He hides his interest in her so that she would think that he doesn't care about her, playing hard to get this is what it say's 'and called me.
When no voice replied'. he ignores her and pretends as he does not want her. But we know he wants her as he expresses all of his love and obsession, he also feels in love with her as he say's 'happy and proud; at last I knew'. he also realises that she's not as passionate of him as he is of her, and she just wants him for sex and that's it, he says 'to set its struggling passion free from pride, and vainer ties dissever' he realises that she is not that obsessive as the words 'passion free from pride' show how much she really cares. But he is not the only one who is obsessed as she also wants him badly, has she shows her obsessive ness to him.
This is shown by how she puts his arm around her ,'She put my arm about her waist,'. She also shows him her bare shoulder which would have been a sign for him, that she wants him to do something, he say's 'And made her smooth white shoulder bare,' she also wants him its not just him that wants her. He also wants her to think that he is god but he realises that she doesn't worship him like as he had an obsession with her, 'Porphyria worshipped me; surprise'.
As finds this out he still unsure about what to do to her as he say's ' while I debated what to do' he is unsure on what he should do to her. But in the end he decides to strangle her and kill her. He begins to think she is a different person as he says ' a thing to do, and all her hair in one yellow string' he thinks differently of her , he begins to feel something for her. So he decides to murder her by strangling her, 'I wound three times her little throat around,' she is dead.
'And strangled her. No pain felt she;' the short sentence makes it seem as if he strangled her quickly, it also points out that she felt no pain. He decides to kill her because he wants to preserve her and keep her his own possession, now she'll never be able to leave him. But the maddest thing is that he acts as if nothing happened and se is still alive, 'the smiling rosy little head, so glad it has its utmost will.' he is saying that he is glad of what he has done.
He also believes that god has forgiven him and he also feels no guilt as he say's, 'and yet god has not said a word!' he almost believes that it was right of what he did. Also at the beginning of the story the mood of the story is set by the weather, 'the rain set early in to-night, the sullen wind was soon awake,' this is pathetic fallacy as it shows what the mood of the characters is going to be like, the weather is used to reflect the dark cold night. Also the rhyme structure of the poem is 'Ababa'
To his coy mistress
In this poem love is shown to also be obsessive and passionate. It also shows love to be about sex. It shows love to be about sex and obsessive behaviour as the man talks about the woman's beauty, he also praises her. He tries to seduce her and she wants him to force her into having sex. The man in the poem is arguing with her and trying to persuade her to have sex with him. We can also get an idea of what the poem is going to be about as of the name of the poem which is 'to his coy mistress' as the word 'coy' is known as being flirtatious.
In the first verse he expresses his love for her and how much he loves her. He say's that no matter where they both were he would still love her no matter what, he say's 'to walk pass our long loves day. Thou by the Indian Ganges side' he is saying that if he had enough time to live that he wouldn't care if she was in India and he was in Yorkshire. He also shows that would love her for thousands of years, as he say's 'love you ten years before the flood' meaning that he would have loved her before the event of Noah's flood took place which was thousands of years ago. He also mentions that he would love her until forever as he says 'till the conversion of the Jews', saying that he would love her till the Jews change their religion, which is highly unlikely so he is trying to point out he will love he forever. Phallic imagery is also used as it say's 'my vegetable love should grow' saying that his privates would grow for her.
He also shows he worships her and is obsessed with her 'two hundred to adore each breast, but thirty thousand to the rest' he shows obsessive ness has he say's that he would have two hundred years to stare at each of her breasts. In the second verse love is shown in a different view as he tries to put it out that they have no time for each other, he still try's to push her into having sex with him by telling her death is near. As he say's times winged chariot hurrying near;' saying that a Greek god named Apollo is chasing him to kill him.
He is also trying to tell her that the deserts are beginning to become empty and life less as time goes on, by saying 'deserts of vast eternity'. he also tell her that they should have sex together as she will end up losing her beauty eventually, saying 'thy beauty shall no more be found,' telling her he will end up losing interest. ';then worms shall try that long preserved virginity,' he is saying that she will end up dying a virgin and that worms will end up having sex with her when she dies, this shows that love can be expressed in a weird crazy way. He also says that eventually all of the lust he has will burn and go away, 'and into ashes all my lust'. the last verse shows him expressing his love in a sexual and telling her what they should do.
He also realises it is reality by saying 'now' meaning at a current stage. He tries to say to her lets have sex in a fun ,energetic game, he say's now let us sport us while we may,'. Imagery is also included to show how they are like birds, 'and now, like amorous birds of prey,' showing that they will be rough and hardcore. He also expresses how special she is by saying 'than languish in his slow-chapt power.' he is saying that she is so special that he would be able to control time. He also says 'stand still, yet we will make him run' saying he would be able to make Apollo run from him if they were together.
It also mentions that he would love her so much that they would got to heaven together, 'thorough the iron gates of life.'. the form of the poem is written as a formal poem, as he addresses the woman as' lady', he also describes his body parts as being his 'vegetable empire'. the poems structure is divided into three different parts the first is about if they had something, the second is the bad side of things that would happen if they weren't together and the last is about reality and what she can do.