Love through the ages

A2 English Literature, Love through the ages. 

Marriage and Proposal


The Duchess of Malfi

John Webster

17th Century

  • Woman proposing to a man
  • Role reversal and controversial
  • Lower class servant and duchess
  • Iambicpentameter 

" Sir this goodly roof of yours is too low built, raise yourself"

"Lay a naked sword between us"

Compare to - P&P, Passionate Shepherd

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Far From the Madding Crowd

Thomas Hardy


  • Pastoral settings
  • refer to names of characters ( Gabriel Oak)
  • Gabriel loves Bathsheba who plays hard to get
  • He is very loyal to her and she doesnt deserve him
  • chase between the lovers

" I wasn't aware that you would wish me not to or I shouldnt have thought of doing it"

"the only love which is as strong as death"

Compare to - Duchess of Malfi, Romeo and Juliet, She Stoops to Conquer

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The Rainbow

D.H Lawrence


  • Ownership and possession.
  • portrays the sex relationship as sacred
  • Anna is powerful and fiesty
  • possessive first person "my love" shows intensity and passion
  • "birth pain of love" he loves her so much its agony.

" He wanted her, he wanted to be married to her"

"He wanted to have her altogether, as his own forever"

Compare to - The Collector

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Marriage and Proposal


Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen

Gregorian Era

  • Social expectations, class and wealth
  • Mr Collins humour in that he wants to marry for his reputation
  • Mrs Bennett is interested in marrying off her daughters
  • Public/private
  • reflects context and time period
  • Mr Collins speaks in declaratives very formal far from courtly love

" the business of her life was to get her daughters married"

"with the design of selecting a wife"

Compare to - Passionate Shepherd, Romeo and Juliet, The Rainbow

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Marriage and Proposal


Richard III



  • Lady Anne is mourning her husband and Richard tries to seduce her
  • semantic field of death and injury, motifs about blood
  • imperatives and declaratives, she is adamant she knows what she wants
  • Antithesis of dark and light
  • syntactical parallelism

"cursed be the hand that made these fatal holes, cursed be the heard that had the heart to do it, cursed be the blood that let this blood from hence"

"If he ever have a wife, let her be made miserable by the death of him"

Compare to - The Rainbow, P&P

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Marriage and Proposal


She Stoops to Conquer

Oliver Goldsmith

18th Century

  • misconception and confusion, mistaken identity
  • class and wealth
  • arranged marriage
  • secret love

" If we open campaign too fiercely"

Compare to - Romeo and Juliet, P&P

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