The Theme of Love in Mariana and The Despairing Lover

The Theme of Love in Mariana and The Despairing Lover
This essay will explore and explain how the theme of love is shown and presented in two different poems. ?Mariana? is one poem and was written by Tennyson, the other is ?The despairing lover? which was written by William Walsh. By analysing both poems, it will determine how the theme of love is shown. ?Mariana? is a poem about love, isolation and abandonment. Tennyson is quite serious, sympathetic and not critical of Mariana at all. He tries to encourage sympathy from the reader by using repetition to remind us of her despair, ?She only said, ?My life is dreary, He cometh not,? she said; She said, ?I am aweary, aweary, I would that I were dead!? This is a refrain at the end of each verse and changes slightly throughout the poem. This gives the effect of sympathy to the reader and also emphasises her weariness. The mood of the poem is very depressing, sad and lonely. The environment around Mariana reflects the mood quite dramatically and pathetic fallacy is used. Lines such as "The broken sheds look?d sad and strange" and ?Unlifted was the clinking latch? show how this is used and shows how the house and its surroundings are as sad as Mariana.
Also, Mariana?s actions influence the poems atmosphere. Lines such as ?She drew her casement ? curtain by? show this and suggest a mood of darkness and a depressing atmosphere. The author puts across Mariana?s feelings in a way that is quite effective. He writes Mariana?s thoughts and actions to show her feelings ? ?O God, that I were dead!? is the last line of the poem and shows us clearly that Mariana is feeling extremely depressed, worthless and distraught. The structure of this poem is fairly regular as it has seven stanzas, twelve lines each. The whole poem has a fairly constant rhythm. Longer syntax allows rhythm to be slow and drawn out and the use of semi colons within the poem breaks the rhythm and shows passage of time which suggest Mariana?s constant suffering. The theme of love dominates this poem with it being the cause of Mariana?s pain which is the focus of the poem. It is presented using all of the devices previously analysed and gives the whole poem a sense of depression. The poem ?The despairing lover? is again a poem about love and rejection. This poem however is more mocking than ?Mariana? and is less serious, ?poor Damon? written near the beginning of the poem suggests this. A similarity between the two poems is that they both have a suicidal feeling to them and a depressing atmosphere. Words such as ?despair, languish and anguish? show this. This is a more narrative poem than ?Mariana?; it has fewer syllables in each word and the poem as a whole is much shorter and sharper. This reveals the poets less serious approach to love. The mood of this poem is slightly similar to ?Mariana? as they both are suicidal and depressing, but in this poem, the atmosphere is more mocking like, and less serious. Towards the end of the poem, the mood changes dramatically, where Damon realises that love is not worth dying for. The atmosphere is much calmer here, as it describes Damon returning to his cottage, ?He calmly return?d?. This also shows the poets view on love, that his idea on love is that it does not last forever. It suggests aswell, that the author is quite unsympathetic towards Damon. Little use of pathetic fallacy is made in this poem, unlike in ?Mariana?. This does not give the same effect and it is slightly more difficult to pick out and reveal Damon?s feelings as they seem to be much shallower. In this poem, the protagonist, gains realisation at the end much quicker than in ?Mariana?. This again shows the authors view on love quite well, that love is not forever. The structure of this poem is completely different to that in ?Mariana?. It has shorter syntax and a much quicker pace with regular punctuation. Also, there is no repeated refrain in this poem which makes it less depressing and tedious. The theme of love is presented in a more mocking way in this poem, whereas in ?Mariana? the poet is much more serious. I believe both poems show this theme very well, but ?The despairing lover? does so best as it is a less tedious poem and much shorter, making it easier to read and understand. ?Mariana? is quite long-winded and wordy which gives it, its harder-to-understand sense. Therefore I believe that ?The despairing lover? has the best influence and affect on the reader in describing and presenting the theme of love.

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