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Comparative Analysis Poetry

All three of these poems explore a mans love for a woman and the complexities and changes that relationships may bring, be they for the good or the bad of the lovers involved. Marvell portrays the passionate pleading of an unacknowledged lover in his bid to win a womans heart; Keats dramatises the effects of rejection on a love stricken man, and Browning presents a mans confession of a passion fuelled murder. All three are written in different styles and have been laid out in different formats.

Marvell wrote in rhyming octosyllabic couplets; Keats has written in lyric stanzas of four lines and Browning in a continuous narrative with five line rhyming sections, although these are not obvious. At first glance you cannot see the complex ways in which each of the poems are pieced together. It looks like THCM and PL are just continuous lines and that BDSM is simply four line stanzas, but each poem can be broken down or pieced together even more than that. In THCM it can be easily broken down from a continuous piece into much smaller sections.

It has rhyming octosyllabic couplets which are almost always separate to the next pair of lines; however, the splitting up of rhyming sections in PL is much more subtle. It has sections of five lines rhyming with the pattern A,B,A,B,B, in every part, but the sections merge into each other and there is never a different format or layout, it is written in one long continuous narrative. The other way in which the poems can be split apart is most obvious in THCM. There are three larger sections than just the couplets that are broken apart not just by the words themselves but also in the paragraphing.

The first two sections are talking about what the lovers could do with their time together, a thesis, the second section is more about how that time together will not last forever and that time is going to stop them someday, an antithesis, and the final section is a synthesis with a persuasive argument as the time for them to do things together is running out and they should do what they can. The grouping of the smaller sections in BDSM is not quite as obvious as it is only indicated by the words themselves. I have come to the conclusion that of the twelve stanzas, they can be grouped into threes.

The first three stanzas are like questions either posed to the lover, or that the lover has asked himself, O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms, So haggard and so woe-begone?. Then in the next three stanzas, the lover describes what has happened (going back in time), each beginning with I. I met a lady in the meads and I set her on my pacing steed. This indicates that the knight-at-arms is in charge of the relationship. The next group of stanzas begin with she, maybe indicating a power change in their relationship or the way that his love for her has increased above his regard for himself.

She found me roots of relish sweet, She took me to her elfin grot and, And there she lulled me asleep. Then in the final section the knight-at-arms concludes the story by returning to the present time and not acknowledging her as in charge because she has left him. And this is why I sojourn here, Alone and palely loitering. In a complete contrast to the poems being able to be split up into groups or sections, PL has no such boundaries and is more like a flowing narrative all happening in a small space of time with an incredible amount of description.

Another way in which two of the poems are the same and the third different is the storyline, if you can call it that. PL and BDSM are both more like a story of a relationship, unlike THCM. In PL it is the story of how a relationship turned sour and the lover resorted to killing in order to keep the person of his love for himself and for no other. BDSM has a broader time scale and includes the meeting at the beginning of the relationship and what happens afterwards; however, THCM is a description of love and time. This description of love affects your emotions and makes you feel more than a relationship described with facts.

The timelines throughout each of these three poems can also be compared. BDSM has a very definite timeline set alongside the story, it starts in the present and then jumps backwards as he is describing his relationship. It follows all the way through until it reaches the present time. PL also has a time line but unlike BDSM it has only a short timescale and it all seems to be happening at the present time. I cannot be certain that it is happening at the present moment because of one interesting line near the beginning, When glided in Porphyria straight.

The word glided in this quotation may mean that this is a dream of events that may come to pass, or things that have already been, and he is just remembering them. On the other hand it could be that a ghost has just entered the room and he replays the actions that caused the ghost of Porphyria to exist. We cannot be sure about this but in THCM we can be sure that there is in fact no time scale at all. Instead of being a relationship story following a chronological order it is about time itself. This sets it apart from the other two. It could even be a letter that the lover is writing in order to gain the ladys appreciation.

The way that the woman involved in each of the relationships is portrayed very differently in each poem and yet there are still some similarities. In THCM the woman is described as the most beautiful woman that the man has ever known. He describes how he would like An hundred years should go to praise, Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze, Two hundred to adore each breast: But thirty thousand to the rest. This shows that the man believes the woman to be the most beautiful thing that he has ever laid eyes upon and how he cant describe her beauty. He sees her as nothing but the most beautiful woman whom he loves with all of his heart.

This is similar to BDSM in that the man believes she is incredibly beautiful yet she is his downfall. He describes her as a faerys child. Fairies are supposed to be beautiful and that is why he is making the simile between them, or is there a subtle hint that she is wicked and like a devil because she is cunning and powerful as we discover when she has betrayed him? Could it be that he still loves her and thinks that she is beautiful be he doesnt want to admit that she left him or betrayed him and so he makes a compromise and calls her a faerys child.

A completely different view of a woman is shown in PL. In Brownings poem he considers the woman involved in the relationship to be more of a possession than an object of love and desire. This idea was aroused by the line That moment she was mine, mine, fair. I think that the story (if you pretend that she is a piece of machinery) is that the man has this machine but it has been unfaithful and has broken and so he decides that this machine should be disposed of because it no longer works for him.

I got these ideas for the story from the following lines (in order). She shut the cold out and the storm, she is a good tool that always helps. And give herself to me forever, But passion would sometimes prevail, she has been unfaithful and broken. Three times her little throat around, And strangled her. No pain she felt, and now he has decided to teach her a lesson and dispose of her, as you would with a defective inanimate object. This way of thinking about her as a possession is shown quite obvious when you put it into the storyline.

The balance of power in each relationship can also be observed and compared, the most obvious example of this is in BDSM. As explained nearer the beginning you can see the power shift hands in the relationship with the first word (or line) of each stanza. I was thinking about PL with the most obvious power balance being that the man is in charge of the relationship deciding when it will end and what his wife or lover is allowed to do, but than I thought that maybe it is the other way round.

Maybe the woman was always in charge and could decide what to do until one day the man decided to take control and the only way that he could do that was by taking her out of the equation as she was too strong and he could never overpower her. From the idea that the lover is writing to try and gain the ladys love in THCM, I thought that the lady would perhaps be in charge of this relationship as he has to try and win her over and not the other way round. She obviously is not falling over her feet to be with him so she would be able to decide where the relationship goes as she does not perhaps have a love as strong for him.

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