Attitude to Love - Essay Example

Love is one of the most recurrent and celebrated themes in poetry from the early history of literature, and a profusion of poetry and other literature has focused on the theme of love and the attitude towards love. One of the basic reasons for the repeated use of the theme of love in literature is that it is an emotion which people all through human history have been feeling…
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Attitude to Love
Download file to see previous pages Andrew Marvell’s highly acclaimed lyrical poem “To His Coy Mistress”, a fine example of metaphysical poetry, is noted for the attitude to love that the poet presents in it. Significantly, the attitude to love presented in this poem is closely linked with the familiar carpe diem theme in literature. Unlike other poets who celebrate the theme of love, Marvell’s carpe diem theme demonstrates an explicitly sexual lust connected with love. The young man in Marvell’s poem declares his love for the lady who is tentative and modest about celebrating their love to the level of lust. In his appeal to the lady to do away with her coyness to enjoy love, i.e. lust, the young lover refers to the concept of carpe diem or ‘seize the day’. “Had we but world enough, and time, / This coyness, Lady, were no crime.” In a reflective exploration of the language and structure of the poem, the overall attitude of the narrator towards love appears to be humorous and playful. Thus, the poem regards the coyness to enjoy love as a crime and the readers can identify the presence of passion all through the poem. It is significant to realize that the poet’s attitude towards love is based on the idea that woman’s body is merely an object for lustful admiration and enjoyment. “His ‘vegetable love’, an allusion to an erect penis, could continue to outgrow empires and move with slow luxury.… He adopts the approach of the Petrarchan tradition in praising the woman’s body parts, reducing her to an object of admiration. Not only would he like to take this time, he tells her, ‘Lady you deserve this state.’” (Brackett, 400) Therefore, the attitude to love in Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” is clearly based on the concept of carpe diem or ‘seize the day’ and love is nothing but finding pleasure in woman’s body. T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, commonly known as Prufrock, is another significant poem which deals with the theme of love and expresses the attitude towards love. Significantly, the poem expresses the narrator’s sexual aggravation, sense of decay, and consciousness of mortality, and, most notably, his fanciful view of love. Thus, the readers realize that the poet uses effective rhetorical devices in order to demonstrate Prufrock’s feeble and inferior view of himself. Prufrock is presented as a coward and insecure person who cannot attract the love of any women in his society. Tony Pellum, in her review of the poem, maintains that “J. Alfred Prufrock, with an unromantic name himself, describes in this interior monologue his fanciful view of love and discovers his cowardice and timidity along the way. T. S. Eliot employs numerous rhetorical devices to illustrate Prufrock's helpless and inferior view of himself.” (Pellum) It is essential to maintain that the poem is not actually about love, but about the narrator’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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