Write an essay of 1,500 words in which you compare and contrast the treatment of the theme of love in the following romantic poem and extract from a Romantic poem: Laetitia Elizabeth Landon's 'When should lovers breathe their vows' and Byron's Don Juan, Canto I, stanzas 69-82.
When looking at Byron's extract from Don Juan and Laetitia Elizabeth Landon's (L.E.L.) 'When should lovers breathe their vows' it is immediately clear of several differences. To start with, one is written by a male poet, one by a female. When considering the treatment of the theme of love in any Romantic text, gender will play an important role and will need careful consideration. Then there is the form and structure of the poems; one is an extract from a much larger epic poem while the other is a small lyrical ballad of just 24 lines. The rhyme scheme is also different with Byron's written in ottava rima (eight line stanzas with rhyme pattern of ABABABCC) while L.E.L.'s
uses a quatrain rhyme scheme of ABABCDCD and so on. The rhythm too is different; Byron's poem is in iambic pentameter while L.E.L.'s is a trochaic tetra metre, although a little irregular at times. All these differences become apparent before any analysis of tone and language is considered. Just how much these differences effect the treatment of the theme of love is what this essay will look at by taking each poem separately before concluding with a final comparison.
When looking a Don Juan, it is important to see that love is represented on three levels. One level is that of Donna Julia. A second level is that of the narrator who is 'regarding loveÃ¢ÂÂ¦disillusioned and cynical' (Cuddy-Keane, www.utsc.utoronto.ca). And on a third level, from the point of view...