Comparing The Beggar Woman with three other poems: 'The Beggar Woman,' by William King, 'Our Love Now' by Martin Lawery, 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell, and 'Rapunskilltskin' by Liz Lockhead

Essay by bizarrestar June 2006

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In this essay, I will be comparing the poems; 'Our Love Now', 'Rapunzskiltskin,' 'To His Coy Mistress' and 'The Beggar Woman.' I will look into conflict and power between men and women and how it is revealed.

The first poem I will look at is 'The Beggar Woman,' by William King. This poem is about a gentleman in seventeenth century Britain. He is out hunting one day and is separated from his group. He sees a young beggar woman whom he deems attractive. He then propersitions her for sex. She obliges and they wander off into the nearby wood. After a while, they discover a suitable place. However, the woman's child is getting in the way. They try a number of positions without success so the man offers to have the baby strapped to his back. The woman thinks this is a brilliant idea and quickly detaches young Bobby from her and moves him onto the gentleman.

She then spontaneously departs, leaving the baby with the man. This is so random and is impossible to anticipate, suggesting that the audience doesn't expect female power.

The themes raised in this poem are the woman's place in society and how the poet disagrees with the morals of of the situation. When this poem was composed, men had little respect for women generally, particularly those of a lower class, so, to a certain extent, the narrative the poem portrays could be realistic. Rich gentlemen may well have slept with young beggar women, then gone back to their wives and children. By the poet's lack of emotive language, I believe that it gives the poem a sense of reality. By the woman's actions at the conclusion of the poem, she moves the power and control to her. Morally, this is the wrong...