In this essay I will be comparing ‘A Woman to her lover’ by Christina Walsh, and ‘Remember’ by Christina Rossetti. These two poems were written in the patriarchal pre twentieth century. I will also be talking about ‘My last Duchess’ by Robert Browning, and ‘How do I love thee? ‘ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. These four poets have different views on marriage and love, they differ in the tone of language they speak in, and what they speak about. The poem ‘ A Woman To Her Lover’ By Christina Walsh is a bold poem; Walsh gets straight to making her points on love and marriage.
She wants to be her husband’s friend and partner not his slave ‘That I shall be your comrade, friend and mate’. She starts her first stanza with three rhetorical questions, ‘Do you come to me to bend to your will’ ‘To make me of your bond slave’ ‘To bear you children, wearing out my life’. She seems as if she is having an argument, as she ends the first and second stanza with exclamation marks. She also uses Imagery ‘Do you want to vanquish me? ‘ it is like a battle is taking place.
Walsh repeats ‘ I refuse you’ twice. In a way it seems like Christina Walsh is being a little stubborn, or maybe she is trying to get the point through that, she wants her marriage to be an equal one, not were there is a dominant male does the ordering about, and a little meek female who does what the male says. The poem ‘Remember’ By Christina Rossetti is a petrarchan sonnet, with iambic pentameter. The tone is peaceful and there is a lot of use of metaphors, for example ‘… far into the silent land’.
Rossetti uses personal pronouns a lot in this particular poem, she uses the words ‘me’ and ‘you’ a lot in the poem, she doesn’t not use the word ‘dead’ but uses ‘silent land instead because she doesn’t want her husband to feel miserable when she is gone. She also uses imagery to describe their relationship. Rossetti repeats the word ‘Remember’ a great deal in the poem. She is saying to her husband that she doesn’t want him to feel sad when he remembers her when she dies, but she doesn’t want him to forget her either, but if it causes him pain when he remembers her then, she would rather he forget her.
Both Rossetti and Walsh are talking to their husbands in their poems and both are talking about their lives with their husbands. But Walsh talks in a more stern tone of voice and is rather like an argument and speech, rather than a poem. She lists the things that she will not do, where as Rossetti talks about how she wants her husband to be happy, and how she will not want him to be distressed when she passes away. ‘How do I love thee’ by Elizabeth Barret Browning is a petrarchan sonnet.
In this poem she talks about how many ways she loves her husband, she writes it as if she can count it like atoms in a shape as she says, ‘… the depth breath and height’. She starts poem with a question, ‘How do I love thee? ‘ which she answers later on in the poem. ‘My Last Duchess’ By Robert Browning is a fairly long poem, with no stanzas, it is dramatic, and it is set out as if Robert Browning is talking to some one about his last wife. In this poem Robert Browning talks about strict patriarchal view on love and marriage.
He believes that a woman should not look at any other man, or not blush at any other mans comments, ‘… that spot of joy into the duchess’ cheeks’. He seemed like the kind of man that would have liked the woman to do as he says, to obey his every command, rather like a dog; She should no talk back at him and abide by his rules. In this poem there is a feeling of tension, as the opening sentence is ‘That is my last duchess painted on the wall, looking as if she were alive. ‘ It is a somewhat apprehensive scene and it makes the reader have the feeling of anxiety.
All four of the poems talk about the Marriage and love in the pre twentieth century, in that time, women were to do as they were told, in a way they were to be seen and not heard, as if they had no brain to think for themselves what to do. Robert Browning got exactly that correct in his poem. Walsh talked about how things were then and how she wanted things to be in her marriage, she had a brain and she used it, she did not want to do as commanded as if she were unintelligent, she wanted to make her own decisions, and she told her husband or partner that she would not be his slave or his dog.
Rossetti talked more on a sentimental point, she loved her husband and she wanted him to remember her, but you can see her love for her husband was so great that she would rather have him forget her than have him be upset by her death. Elizabeth Barret Browning talked for her love of her husband, she loved him so much, that she wrote him a poem. Elizabeth Barret Browning like Rossetti wrote about love and not about equality. They were all very good and incisive poems with good points, which were put across rather well.