I will compare A Women to Her Lover by Christina Walsh, How Do I Love Thee? By Elizabeth Barrett Browning, When We Two Parted by Lord Byron, Remember by Christina Rossetti and Villegiature by Edith Nesbit. In the poems I have chosen four are written by women and one by a man and I think that this is a representative romantic poetry. This was in a certain time when the women of the upper class were removed from work. The only man I have chosen, which is Lord Byron, has written not a very Romantic poem, you can see this In two of the other poems I have chosen Villigiature and A Woman To Her Lover.
I think that Remember and How Do I Love Thee? Are representatives of the Romantic movement because they stimulate many aspects of the theme of love and the poets do this by showing their love through the poems and I think that A Women to Her Lover, When We Two Parted and Villegiature do not represent the Romantic movement because they write very bitter words in their poems which could hardly be romantic. The first two I will compare is A Women to her lover is about a women who is fighting with her lover telling him that she is not a slave and she will not sit in the house all day looking after his children.
She does not want him to expect her to be “a wingless angel who can do no wrong”, i. e. the ‘perfect wife’. At the end of the poem she says “But lover, if you ask of me/That I shall be your comrade, friend, and mate”. She wants her lover to be passionate about love. She is asking for equality. This poem is a non-reflective poem, portraying a female perspective of love. The moment we read the title of the poem, we think of the word ‘lover’ as portraying equality in regard to gender. It seems significant of modern context for it’s time.
Her message she puts across is that women should be equal to men, which could be seen as shocking for its historical context. Other implications of this are the relation of ‘lover’ to cohabitation, which is becoming increasingly common in this day and age. There is also less evidence of a male dominant relationship. This highlights the key theme of the poem, whereby she is getting her message across of demanding equality in a relationship; ‘No servant will I be If that be what you ask, O lover I refuse you! ‘ in the first stanza, emotions being strongly evident in the romantic period. She introduces ‘conditional love’ as a result.
Alongside this, ‘physical love’ is also suggested. The word ‘lover’ tends to bring out the physical aspect of the theme; there is a sense of passion, since there is no reference to marriage. She quotes: ‘my body supple only for your sense delight’. This contrasts her bold and daring nature. She uses words like “comrade”, “friend” and “passion”, which put across a completely different tone, showing her more gentle side. ‘Woman of our time’ Following that, ‘hand holding hand’ also is written without gendering to imply belief of equality in a relationship. The poem is written in free verse.
The structure of the poem reflects the narrator’s tone, as she is determinedly commanding freedom and equality, without being restricted by the social construction of her time, whereby the norm was that of a male dominated relationship. The sophisticated writing shows traditional contrast to the seemingly modern topic. Her long syntax causes an empowering tone whereby we can tell she is fixed in what she wants. Her strong character is amplified by her use of powerful language, for instance, words like “bend”, “bondslave” and “drudgery”, show her fearless character and also how strongly she wants equality.
She alliterates these words in ‘bondslave to bear’. The structure of her syntaxes also conveys a sense of resolution, for example she confidently uses caesuras: ‘Go! – I am no doll’. This also portrays a conditional balance since it is a direct answer to the solution she aims for. Walsh uses a lot of figurative imagery; and these different types of imagery help amplify the effects the power of love can have on people. Such as use of personification in the last stanza: ‘our co-equal love will make the stars laugh with joy’. Also the words “stars” and “spheres” suggest how love with equality exceeding other characteristics of love.
Only in the last stanza we see her address her lover as ‘husband’, whereby we immediately sense the change of tone, with greater respect towards whom she is addressing. The last line of this stanza consists of the lexical fields of religion, which she portrays by use of divine imagery, as she ends the poem with a overjoyed height of happiness: ‘until we reach the very heart of God’. There was a frequent reference to religion in the romantic period context. This shows the nature of the narrator is very believing. She believes in: herself, God, and the way she is treated by her lover can change, despite her social environment.
The poem Remember by Christina Rossetti is telling her lover to remember her when she is dead. At the end of the poem she says “Better by far that you should forget and smile/Then that you should remember and be sad”. Here she is telling her lover that she rather him forget and be happy and live his life then to be sad. Christina Rossetti was the first Pre-Raphaelite poet. Her brother, Dante Gabriele Rossetti was a Pre-Raphaelite painter. Her father, Gabriele Rossetti was an Italian poet and a political asylum seeker from Naples and her mother, Frances Palidori was the sister of Lord Byron’s friend and physician, John Williams Palidori.
She was brought up in an artistic environment. This poem contrasts the various poems, already been analysed, bringing very different aspects of the theme of love. This poem is reflective; similarly in First Love and My Last Duchess, however instead of looking back on love, she is in dilemma regarding what to do, for the mess that she is in regarding love with loss A combination of happiness and sadness tends to run through many of Rossetti’s poems, although in Remember, from the starting stanza which quotes ‘Remember me when I am gone away’, implies a loving, yet sad, request.
One of the aspects of the theme of love evident in this posh sonnet is ‘imperfect love’. This idea is based on the frequently used theme of religion in her work, since Rossetti was devoted to her Christian faith and love of God. From the beginning of the poem, the love between the couple seems strong, and the hint of sadness and grief branches from the notion that death is about to tear them apart. However this is not immediately clear, since it is vague as to whether she is choosing to leave the person she is addressing, or dying.
Death is never named, but is make reference to the opening lines through the distant, ‘silent land’, although we are left uninformed of how much time she has left. This highlights the theme of a parting in love: absence. Whilst A Woman To Her Lover is demanding to be treated with equality, Remember is very submissive “You tell me of your plans”. A Woman To Her Lover talks about her lover treating her with equality but Remember talks about her death and her dying. How do I love thee? By Elizabeth Barrett Browning is about her lover, assuming that this was written for Robert Browning.
She is almost treating him like a God. “For ends of Being and ideal Grace”. She talks mostly about God. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born 6th March 1806 in Durham, England. Her father, Edward Moulton-Barrett, made most of his considerable fortune from Jamaican sugar plantations. Although she was frail weak she apparently had no health problems until 1821, when Dr. Coker prescribed opium for a nervous disorder. Her mother died when she was twenty two. The opium which was repeatedly prescribed probably made it worse. She died in Robert Browning’s arms on 29th June 1861.
How Do I Love Thee? Expresses the Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s intense love for her husband, Robert Browning. So strong is her love for him, she says, that it rises to the spiritual level “My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight”. She loves him willingly and just as intensely as men who fight for freedom, she loves him genuinely, without desire for praise. She even loves him with an intensity of the suffering “I love thee with the passion put to use” resembling that of Christ on the cross, and she loves him in the way that she loved saints as a child.
Moreover, she expects to continue to love him after death. The dominant figure of speech in the poem is anaphora, the use of “I love thee” in eight lines and “I shall but love thee” in the final line. This repetition builds rhythm while supports the theme. Browning also uses alliteration e. g. “thee” and “they” (line 8). There is a rhyming scheme for this poem, its goes lines 1-8 ABBA, line 9-14 CD. Villegiature by Edith Nesbit gives the impression that her husband has lost interest in her, telling us that he “bores me”. nd she dreams of a romantic love, and that she can indulge herself with whilst she is away from home. Edith Nesbit, the daughter of John Collis Nesbit, a schoolmaster, was born on 19th August 1858. Nesbit ran successful schools in Bradford, Manchester and London but died when Edith was only six years old. Despite money problems, Edith’s mother managed to educate her daughter in France. At the age of nineteen, Edith Nesbit met Hubert Bland, a young writer with radical political opinions. In 1879 discovered she was pregnant and the baby was born two months after they were married on 22nd April 1880.
The speaker in Villegiature does want a stereotype, but she wants one that is found more in literature and poetry than in real life. She uses romantic clichi?? s to say that she wants a man who will treat her more lovingly; she alludes to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet because Romeo has the quality she is looking for. The man in her life is far from what she wants; she illustrates him sitting at a desk “deep in dull books,” using alliteration to show how repetitive and drab the man is. This poem deals with stereotype and realistic men. When we two parted By Lord Byron is about him parting from his lover.
Byron is very harsh in this poem “Long, long shall I rue thee”. This proves the point that the women are living in a protected life and Byron is living in the real world. Is Byron seeing the real world and reacting to it? And are these women living in a utopia? “When We Two Parted,” by Lord Byron, is another poem written by a man that who displays his opinion of a woman. He writes about a love affair between two loves. Secrets and lies only leave to betrayal and loneliness. Byron uses imagery to describe the “morning dew” and how it reminds him of the “shame” he is in.
His tone is shameful and his conscious is already getting to him. He, as the men in all the mentioned poems have been, is hurting because of her. He portrays her as cold “pale grew they cheeks and cold,/ colder thy kiss”. He begins with this description of her at their separation; his description of her begins with the physical mention of her cheeks. This beginning admits the foreshadowing of continued sorrow throughout the poem when the speaker says “truly that hour foretold/ sorrow in this. ” This gives a negative connotation to the word “you” from the very beginning.
In Lord Byron When We Two Parted George Gordon Noel Byron was born 22nd January 1788 in London and died 19th April 1824 in Missolonghi, Greece. He was among the most famous of the English ‘Romantic’ poets; his contemporaries included Percy Shelley and John Keats. He was also a comedian whose poetry and personality captured the imagination of Europe. I have attempted to compare A Women To Her Lover by Christina Walsh, How Do I Love Thee? By Elizabeth Barrett Browning, When We Two Parted by Lord Byron, Remember by Christina Rossetti, and Villegiature by Edith Nesbit.
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