Love Through the Ages- Wider Reading

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The Passionate Shepherd to His Love 1588

  • Pastoral imagery
  • Christopher Marlowe
  • Meaning: Trying to convince his love to 'live with me and be my love'
  • Natural imagery 'beds of roses'
  • Superficial 'purest gold' 'finest wool'
  • Trying to convince her with nice things, materialistic
  • Idealisedm not realsitic, almost unattainable 
  • AABB ryme structure
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Come, Live With Me and Be My Love- C Day Lewis

  • 1900s
  • Parody
  • More realistic
  • 'Be Shod with pain: not silken dress'- critical of materlism
  • All he can offer is his love
  • 'hunger shall make thy modest zone'
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Sonnet XIX- Shakespeare

  • Looking at the effect of time on Love
  • 'my love shall in my verse ever live young'
  • Never ending love- greater than Time itself
  • Direct address- challenging Time
  • Classical references: swift- footed Time- Achilles- transcedent, powerful, hubristic- context of readers, understand references, select group of people
  • Doesn't want his love to become old
  • Argumental
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Meeting Point- Louis MacNeice

  • 1930s
  • Meeting in time between two people at a coffee shop
  • Dull, ordinary language ' two glasses and two chairs'
  • Repitition of 'time was away and somewhere else'-enclose the couple, only thing that matters is them
  • Disregard to time, love is eternal
  • Concentrating on things going on around them as well, not on emotions
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The Definition of Love- Andrew Marvell

  • Metaphysical poet
  • Uses science, maths and philosphy
  • Love is an impossibility
  • Uses maths to explain 'is the conjunction of the mind and opposition of stars'
  • reference to fate
  • argument form
  • 'so truly parallel, though infinite, can never meet'
  • Abstract concepts
  • Fate keeps them apart, so while Love is infinite, never find each other
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The Sunne Rising-John Donne

  • All powerful sun dictates and controls
  • Losing time together every time it sets and rises
  • Most powerful force- apart from their love
  • Imperatives- orders sun to leave them be
  • Mix of science and love- metaphysical trait
  • Sun isn't the centre of their world, their love is
  • Love defies all
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A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

  • Metaphysical
  • Using mundane objects to explore big questions
  • 'twin compasses are two'- two souls who have come together as one, always attached
  • Explaining what love is- never apart, even in death, will return to one another
  • 1500s
  • John Donne
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  • Analytical, structure
  • Complex sytax
  • Unconventional imagery
  • Conecits, unusual rhyme and metre
  • Serious
  • philosophicalm religous, spitrial
  • socially and morally conservative
  • passion, truth, religiou,s enlightenment, sexuality, independence
  • Metaphysicals represented puratism, during Civil War in England
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Cavalier Poets 17th Century

  • Time of Civil War
  • Support monarchy
  • Division in society
  • Edcuared, upper class, rich, gentry
  • Oppose cromwell
  • Entertain, witty
  • Lovelace, Herrick, Carew, Waller
  • Frivolous, fun tone
  • Direct and colloquial language
  • Enjoyment of casual
  • Distrust over earnest and intense
  • avoid religion
  • light hearted, cavalier attitude to life
  • conventional, pastoral imagery
  • straightforward
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Restoration drama

  • After Cromwell when Puritans banned theatre
  • Reaction to conservative past
  • Restoration of monarchy
  • Exagerrated, frivalous, fun
  • During reign of Charles II
  • Subject matter:
  • Superficial, sophisticated, urban society
  • Fashional behaiour among upper classes
  • Lack of civilised behaviour, relation between sexes, social ambition, womens role, money and marriage
  • Style: complex plots, intrigue, double crossing, deception, betrayal, revenge
  • Gullible people, beautiful young women, old and ugly, fashionable young men, jealous husbands, con-men, servants loyalty
  • Brittle language- satirical, dramatic irony, jokes at expense of country people
  • Themes: social comment and crticisms, marriage, relationships and money
  • Goldsmith, Sheridan, Congreve, Etherege
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She Stoops to Conquer of the Mistakes of Night

  • Oliver Goldsmith
  • Restoration
  • Comedy
  • How love makes young people behaviour foolishly-Kate pretending to be a maid, Marlows nervousness
  • Characters ludicrous and eccentric-Mrs Hardcastle 'he coughs sometimes' exaggeration
  • Based on many mistunderstandings: Marlow believes Hardcastles house is an Inn and that she is a maid
  • Goldsmith's style is wry, witty, and simple but graceful. From beginning to end, the play is both entertaining and easy to understand

Class Bias

  • Until Kate teaches him a lesson, Marlow responds to women solely on the basis of their status in society. He looks down on women of the lower class but is wholly at ease around them; he esteems women of the upper class but is painfully shy around them. Like the London society in which he was brought up, he assumes that all women of a certain class think and act according to artificial and arbitrary standards expected of that class. As for Mrs. Hardcastle, she appears to assess a person by the value of his or her possessions. 
    Love Ignores Social Boundaries
    .Although prevailing attitudes among England's elite classes frown on romance between one of their own and a person of humble origin, Marlow can't help falling in love with a common "barmaid" (who is, of course, Kate in disguise).
    Hope for Flawed HumanityAlthough Marlow makes a fool of himself as a result of his upper-class biases, Kate has enough common sense to see through the London hauteur encasing him and to appreciate him for his genuinely good qualitieswhich are considerable, once he allows them to surface. Also, Mrs. Hardcastle, in spite of her misguided values, enjoys the love of her practical, down-to-earth husband. He, too, is willing to look beyond her foibles in favor of her good points. 

    Money Breeds Indolence
    Tony Lumpkin will get 1,500 pounds a year when he comes of age. Thus, without financial worries, he devotes himself to ale and a do-nothing life. 
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Beginning of Prose

  • 18th cenutry- romances/histories
  • beginning of novel
  • achieve realism- detailed descriptions of setting, clear link character an dplot
  • Defore, Henry Fielding (Tom Jones)
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Tom Jones, Henry Fielding, 1749

  • Moral comedian approach
  • comic epic in prose
  • lower classess
  • picaresque- journey, hero on the road, adventures
  • Meeting between Tom Jones and Lover, Mrs Waters
  • Use of military lanuage, contrast soft feminine 'amorous warfare'
  • Comparing love to an attack 'artillery of love'
  • Sarcasm and satirical, making Jones out as a victum
  • Women only have power if men around
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The Augustan Writers

  • 18th Century
  • The Englightenment- reason, logic, critical or religion and politics, satire, innovention and experiment, American and French revolution basis
  • Neoclassism- looking back golden age if classical literature, poetry full of allusions, high regard for Empeoror Augustia
  • heroic couplet use (rhyming couplets iambic pentameter) latin poets
  • Context
  • 17550 dictionary
  • more literate
  • industrial revolution
  • Printing press
  • urban poverty increase, rural life decrease
  • Writers: Alexander Pople, Defoe, Johnnson, Swift, Bunyan
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The Rape of the Lock- Alexander Pope

  • 1712
  • Mockign society, exposing pettyness
  • Heoric couplets used satirically
  • Complex vocabulaury
  • About a man stealing a lock of hair- courting women
  • He is critical of courtly love- men become trapped and obessed
  • 'adventr'ous Baron'- not really, mocking
  • Pasotral 'mymphs, sun first', 'sweetness void of pride'
  • aim to laugh together
  • heroic comical exagerration
  • high flown vocabulary, epic poems, describe something ridiculous
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Shakespearean Drama

  • Challenges expected presentation of love
  • Lady Macbeth- convinced Macbeth to murder
  • Three Witches and Cleopatra- power of men
  • Juliet- refusing to marry
  • Portia- beautiful and powerful
  • Themes: jealousy, greeed, lust, varying role and women, patrotism, filial love, fellow man love, parting gof love, reconciliationn
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Courtly Love

  • Idealised/illiciet form in Middle Ages and Renaissance
  • Knight/couriter devotes to noblewoman who is usually married, feigns indifference protect rep
  • Nobility, chivously expressing love
  • Secret, affairs
  • Popular thought love exists outside of marriage
  • idealized, spiritual, man becomes servant of women
  • Love is a sickness, torments man, cant sleep/eat
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The Knights Tale- Chaucer

  • 'love is a gretter lawe'
  • Knight telling another person's story story
  • Duel over Emily
  • Falls in love instantly
  • competiton causes friends to hate each other
  • Tradegy
  • Women no choice
  • encapsulates the themes, motifs, and ideals of courtly love: love is like an illness that can change the lover’s physical appearance, the lover risks death to win favor with his lady, and he is inspired to utter eloquent poetic complaints. The lovers go without sleep because they are tormented by their love, and for many years they pine away hopelessly for an unattainable woman.
  • Set in mythological Greece
  • Palamon and Arcite similiar, neither have stronger claim on Emele
  • Major theme;instability of human life- joy and suffering always close, nobody safe form diaster
  • When one perons fortune up, other's is down- pattern in narrative, descriptions of good fortunes followed by disasters, dramatic reversal of fortune
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Wild Oats- Philip Larkin

  • Modern
  • Pessimistic
  • Love without emotion
  • Not eternal
  • Looking in quantities 'tin guinea rings' 'seven years'
  • 'bosmomy rose with fur gloves on'- p0rn?
  • Doubt, unconfident, not addressed to anyone, relfective
  • Ordinary love, dull and unexciting
  • 1964
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The Scrutiny- Richard Lovelace

  • Cavalier poet
  • Treating love in a frivolous way
  • 'a tedious twelve hour space?'- rhetorical, direct, provocative
  • asking why she is annoyed that he hasn't spent enough time with her
  • He wants to sleep around
  • Persuasive, addressing, provocative
  • Mocking upper class- courtly love
  • 'for treasure in the un-plowed-up ground'
  • Fun, light tone
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The Importance of Being Earnest

  • Oscar Wilde
  • Set :1890s
  • Debate over marriage, ''pleasant or unpleasant'
  • Discussion over proposal is business or pleasure between Jack and Algeron
  • Algeron is cynical of love, until he falls in love
  • Older generation- means to an ends, maintaining or bettering social position
  • Satire of Victorian society- no one marries out of their status
  • Young women too idealistic- inspried by romantic novels
  • Expectations of courtship not true to reality
  • E.g preference of the name of Jack, prefer Ernest as a name, more romantic
  • 'my ideal has always been to love sme one of the name Ernest. There is something in that name that inspires aboslute confidence' 'destined to love'
  • Ideal man not based on anything logical, purley superficial
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The House of Bernarda Alba

  • Frederico Garica Lorca
  • Tragic Love
  • Adela and Pepe try and defy social standards
  • Courtly- forbidden
  • She doesn't want to hide it
  • Dies, rather not be without him- sickness
  • Marriage not for love, but for societal rank
  • Lack of love
  • Lack of sexual freedom of women compared to men
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Pride and Prejudice

  • Love overcomes obstacles such as society
  • Elizabeths prejudice- misjudges Darcy
  • Darcys pride- stops him from loving her due to her rank
  • Lady Catherine trying to prevent, Mrs Bingleys idiocy, other sisters, Mr Wickham
  • Social connection interfere with love
  • Force seperate from society, can conquer- idealistic?
  • Realistic- Miss lucas marrying Mr Collins for him money
  • Courtship-microcosm for different sorts of love
  • Real and fake- Lydia and Wickham, soon tire of each other

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

-love as a sickness, physically affects

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Tess of the D'urbervilles

  • Thomas Hardy
  • 1890s
  • Power of beauty- Alec D'urvbervilles' obession with her
  • Love triangles
  • Angel marrying Tess despite being a milkmaid
  • Virginity importance in love- angel sees her as a different woman, 'Daughter of Artemis'- unhealthy, idealises her, denying her true self 
  • Men dominating women
  • Girls obsessed with men- Retty committing suicide when she finds Angel doesnt love her
  • Tragic love
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Sonnet 130- Shakespeare

  • Anti ideal poem
  • 'my mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun' 
  • celebrating flaw
  • In celebrating reality, has a clean and purer love
  • Fighting against ideal woman
  • Appreciates for what she is, not what she should be
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A Doll's House- Henrik Ibsen

-Complex and contradictory actions and reactions

-Thruthful view of love

-Explores different definitions of love

-One defininition- 'two of us on one wreck surely stand better chance than each on his own'- idea that lvoe is when two people depend on each other , that love can save one another 'we two need each other'

Helmer's definition of love- women are possessions that he has a right to, like objects to be admired, okay to treat them as weaker people ''Can't I look at my most treasured possession?''

Nora- defies her expected female gender role to submit- shows us the position of women in 19th century 'Don't look at me like that!'

She also says she is going to leave him and her children- defying all expectations of mother role. Helmer's reaction reflects this 'you are ill...delirious....out of your mind'

However, the scene becomes contradictory when she expects him to take on the typical male role of sorting out her money problems 'take everything on yourself'

This definition of love argues that men should provide for women

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19th Century Drama

  • Melodramas, adaptations of novels, music halls
  • Hedda Gabler, Doll's House
  • Scandinavian and Russian plays popular- Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chebhov


  • Realist dramas, focussing on contemporary and political issues
  • Controverisal issues like women's rights
  • Personal and social reasons for marriage breakdowns
  • Combines realism and symbolism in critiques of sociey and relationships between men and women
  • Not to lecture- show situation of characters, complex and contradictory actions and reactions
  • Sets up debates- involve audience, come to own conclusion
  • Truthful vision, not moral lessions with simple solutions to complex problems


  • Provinical Russian- characters live boring lives
  • Moments of humour, dominant tone of resignation to harsh realities of life

Other plays:

  • Uncle Vanya- 1898
  • Three Sisters- 1900
  • The Cherry Orchard- 1904
  • The Seagull- 1896
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The Taming of the Shrew

Romantic comedy, focuses on the relationships between men and women that develop from initial itnerest into marriage- does't given concluse, just gives a glimpse into the future lives of married couples

Key themes:


  • Unlike in Romeo and Juliet- inner emotional desire not as importnat
  • Concentration on the economic aspects of marriage- who marries who
  • Explores them from a social perspective , and how institutions affect it
  • Affects their parents, servants and friends
  • Because courtship is negotiated between future husand and father of future wife= becomes transaction, like money- Lucentio only allowed ot marry if rich

The effect of society on individuals

  • All charactes in play have a social position that has expectations-enforced by family, friends and society
  • Bianca and Katherin typical upper class maidens in waiting, no choice infuture
  • Kate defies this-frustrated- but because of this defiance, she faces cold disapproval of society, becomes alienated, and thus unhappy
  • Other charactes do as well- Lucnetion into latint utor, Tranio into aristocrat- comedy aspect
  • However, transformation must be undone, so conventional lfie resume- society's happiness depends on eveyrone playing role 
  • Kate must become a wife to be happy- better than living at odds with everyone
  • Structure point- Excitment comes from permeable social boundaries that change through, by people continually disguising and lying. At end, conventional roder reestablishes


  • Petruchio's attempts to cure Katherine of antisocial hostility
  • She is referred to as wild animal
  • Pretuchio, like other men, condsiders himself as the tamer, wives must be obediant, fulful expected gender roles
  • Modern perspective- fact she conforms to be happy would be criticised
  • Language- debate over the moon and sun- at first she insists its 'the sun: it is not moonlight now'- eventually agrees, represents her gradual domestication and submittance to him


  • As play, costumes allow characters to visually take on new persona, and cross boundaries
  • This physical change however, true nature always able to find, no matter appearance identiy underneath
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The Clod and the Pebble- William Blake

Meaning: The clay is soft and inexperienced when it comes to love. therefore has a positive outlook. The pebbel is hard and expereince, therefore more realistic, but pessimistic. Many condemn the pebble while embrace the clod, but spuderficiliaty of the poem masks Blakes intent, as he mocks equally

  • Clay- unproteced, defenceless, love can shape it, still to take form
  • Pebble- shaped, protected, hard from experience, barrier to love
  • Simple things to present message about love
  • Abstract language for a poem about love
  • In form of parabel to give a lesson
  • regular rhyme- shows a clear concept
  • published as part of 'Songs of Experience' 1794
  • Idealistic vs realistic viewpoints of love- discourse of feelings in poem
  • Form- clod, pebble and Blake all speaking directly, 3 points of narrative and views
  • Mirroring of language to emphasise conflict of views 'builds a heaven in hell's despair' 'builts a hell in Heaven's despite'
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St Agnes Eve- John Keats

  • Romantic period
  • On day maiden would dream of their future love- go through a ritual
  • Poem about that night
  • Extract rich is colour, taste and touch- senses important to romantics, how you feel, not what you brain and head says is important
  • 'lucent syrops, tnct with cinnamon'
  • 'chilly room with perfume light'
  • Fiery and passsionate poem
  • Some would say unrealistic
  • Canided apple, quince, and plum'
  • Blake creating the scene, invoking emotions and feelings of it
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Antony and Cleopatra

The Struggle Between Reason and Emotion
  • In his opening lines to Demetrius, Philo complains that Antony has abandoned the military endeavors on which his reputation is based for Cleopatra’s sake, . Antony and Cleopatra’s first exchange-Atony military hero, abandoning commitments for passions: “Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch / Of the ranged empire fall” (I.i.35–36). - Constant battle between the two offers the view that neither can win. Reason cannot ever fully conquer the passions, nor can passion conquer reason
Female Sexuality
  • Male characters not comfortable with power of female sexuality, e.g Caesar and his men condemn Antony for the weakness due to Cleopatra. Described as an enchantress whose beauty casts a dangerous spell over men. Even “holy priests” who “bless her” when she acts like a whore 
  • The unapologetic openness of Cleopatra’s sexuality stands to threaten the Romans- they dont like it
  • Even when she dies, commands attention 'let me speak a little'- shakespeare present message on female power in relationships and sexuality. Feminist viewpoint-is he critical? One hand yes, in how she exploits sexuality, yet she is just beign a man, bettering her empire helping her people
  • Irony in that they expect the beauty of Octavia to united and mend relationships- have both responsibility of political alliances, blamed for personal failures
Extravagant Declarations of Love
  • Cleopatra believes love declared grandly
  • Hear and see how much Antony loves her
  • No intimate like Romeo and Juliet
  • Love in public arena
  • Displays of affection way of showing political power and allegiance
  • Interesting contrast, having an affair yet open
  • Cleopatra refuses to be exhibiting on streets as symbol of Ceaser's victory, choosing instead to take her own life. Even this act is meant as a public performance- decked in her grandest royal robes and playing the part of the tragic lover, Cleopatra intends her last act to be as much a defiance of Caesar’s power as a gesture of romantic devotion. For death, she claims, is “the way / To fool their preparation and to conquer / Their most absurd intents” 
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Neutral Tones- Thomas Hardy

Meaning- learnt a lesson from leaving his love- feelings unclear, lack of description on own feelings about this loss


  • Regret
  • Loss
  • Break ups
  • Lack of emotion
  • Futileness
  • Nostalgia


  • First person narrative, but detached, lack of emotion
  • reflective


  • Cyclic-'pond' 'winter day' 'grayish leaves' 'sun'
  • replaying moment in mind, no defintive conclusion


  • 'ash and were grey' 'leaves'- reflects lack of emotion
  • neutrality
  • lack of life and happiness
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The Suspicion Upon His Over-Much Familiarity with

-By Robert Herrick, cavalier poet

Meaning: Leaving his love to avoid suspicion and scandal surrounding her chastity, maitnain her reptutation. Tone is light however, regret he could not have her virginity


  • Cavalier, light hearted approach to loss of love
  • Love as a conquest
  • Loss
  • Break ups
  • Importance of female reputation
  • Typical of cavaliers- fun, frivolous, not serious, in reaction to previous times
  • Society and reputation

Direct address, aware others would read, trying to entertain

Shown through language- 'must part'

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Love's stricken 'why'- Emily Dickinson

  • American writer, very different
  • Clear and simple language- ironic as poem not clear
  • Asking how love can have so much power
  • Such a simple word, yet causes so much heartbreak
  • So many whys- end or relationship, is real love, constant questioning
  • monosyllabic words ' the hugest hearts that break'
  • Timesless
  • Contrast between the power of written words and real life
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The Voice- Thomas Hardy

Meaning- Hardy wants his love back, hearing her voice everywhere, use wind imagery to describe this.


  • Loss of love
  • Nostalgia
  • Break ups
  • Natural imagery and symbolism
  • Change in people
  • Wanting someone back
  • Saddness in love


  • 'listlessness'' 'wistelessness'- sibilent s, reflect wind sounds, atmosphere, soft, crying
  • wind connotations- unpredictable, there but cant see, potentially destructive, nature, spiritiual
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Othello- Shakespeare

Jealousy -Othello is driven mad at the thought of Desdomona betraying him, and kills her

Impact of society on love

  • Desdomona and Othello defy expectations to be together
  • However, due to expected roles, Othello begins to conform to his, and it destroys their love
  • Shakespeare explores the theme of identity in society terms of your race, gender, social status, family relationships
  • 'black ram' 'white ewe' the differences between the two are made clear by their society


  • Desdemona falls in love with Othello after he tells her of his bravery
  • Audience question whether love is real-or based on fantasy

Female sexuality

  • Most male characters in Othello assume that all Venetian women are inherently promiscuous, which explains why female sexuality is a huge threat to men in the play. Othello is easily convinced his wife is cheating on him and feels emasculated and humiliated as a result.

Sex and purity

  • the idea of female purity and faithfulness was very important to Venetian men. Othello considered the death of his wife a fair punishment for her believed infidelity.
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Tess of the D'Urbervilles- Thomas Hardy


  • Thomas Hardy
  • 1890s
  • Power of beauty- Alec D'urvbervilles' obession with her
  • Love triangles
  • Angel marrying Tess despite being a milkmaid
  • Virginity importance in love- angel sees her as a different woman, 'Daughter of Artemis'- unhealthy, idealises her, denying her true self 
  • Men dominating women
  • Girls obsessed with men- Retty committing suicide when she finds Angel doesnt love her
  • Tragic love

True love vs reality

  • While Hardy does believe in it, it is clear he has pessimism- Angel leaves her despite loving
  • Doesn't hold romantic view that love conquers all
  • Tess dies- pain for love

Society’s hierarchy

  •  At the top is the D’Urbervilles family, which is mainly due to their wealth. Angel to lower down on the spectrum, although not noble, is considered too worthy to marry Tess. 
  • -‘’of course he won’t marry any of us, or Tess either, -- a gentleman’s son, who’s going to be a great landowner!’’ 
  •  There is also evidence of the changing ideas of society in Victorian England, due to how Angel gives up his Cambridge education and parsonage, decides to work with farm labourers and marries Tess. The D’Urbervilles also shows how class status is Victorian times was different to the Middle Ages, which was simply about your blood line. In Victorian England, it meant little, and what was important was your wealth, which the family embodies.

Injustice towards women

  • Harding presents a sympathetic view towards women through Tess’s tragic life. She is blamed and punished by Angel for her own **** by Alec. Furthermore, just because she is a women, the fact that he does not have her virginity is more outrageous than Angel, who previously had an affair with another women out of choice, but is instantly forgiven.
  • Alec tries to blame Tess for being too tempting towards him, and warns her not to look at him because he might not be able to control himself.
  • All love brought to Tess was despair and darkness


  •  ‘immeasurable social chasm was to dive our heroine personality thereafter from that’’= referring to Tess’s life after her ****, importance of reputation for a women
  • ‘’the full recognition of the futility of their infatuation, from a social point of view; its purposeless beginning’’- referring to the three milkmaids love of Angel Clare. Demonstrating the unhealthy female dependence on a man, and the social divide that would prevent any of them becoming his wife
  • ‘I should not look too often on you. It might be dangerous’ - blame on women for how men treat them
  • “‘Justice’’ was done, and the President of the Immortals had ended his sport with Tess,”
  • This shows irony, as justice was not done at all, but actually just a sport of a pagan god.
  • Religious language love is a game
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Jane Eyre-Charlotte Bronte


  • Partly autobiographical- death of friend mirrors death of sister
  • 1847
  • Elements of a Gothic horror story-it generally describes supernatural experiences, remote landscapes, and mysterious occurrences, all of which are intended to create an atmosphere of suspense and fear. Jane’s encounters with ghosts, dark secrets, and sinister plots add a potent and lingering sense of fantasy and mystery to the novel
  • A bildungsroman is a novel that centers on the period in which a young person grows up


Love Versus Autonomy
  • Quest to be love- Jane searches for being valued
  • Learns how to gain love without sacrifice of harm to herself
  • Femenist- wants to maintain autonomy, motivates refusal of Rochester, as marrying him would make her a mistress, and sacrfice her integrity
  • But at Moor House- economic indeendence, yet lacks emotional sustenance
  • Refuses St John's proposal, as it would be loveless
  • Marriage has be one equal, shouldn't depend on on more than another

Social class and love

  • Bronte is critical of victorian england's strict social hierarchy and double standards
  • Jane's manners and education is like an aristocrat, however as paid employees, treated as servant, penniless and powerless. Realises that she is only Rochester's intellectual, not social equal- marrying him would make her in debt
  • At end speaks out against it- argues that lower class have feelings
  • Boundaries are limited- only marry to Rochester as equal as she now has money

Gender relations

  • Struggles to achieve equality and overcome opression
  • fight partriarchal domination- Mr Brocklehurt, Rochester and St John Rivers- all three misogynisitc, keep her submissive, unable to express thoughts and feelings

Lack of Love and False Love

  • Lack of love causes Jane's miserable childhood at Gateshead Hall, as well as the ridicule and deprivation she and other children suffer at Lowood Orphan Asylum. False love is in part responsible for Edward Rochester's disastrous marriage to Bertha Mason. What he thought was love for her was instead infatuation. St. John Rivers loves Rosamond Oliver but instead proposes to Jane Eyre, whom he does not truly love, because he believes she would make a good partner for him in the missionary field. 


“to gain some real affection from you, or Miss Temple, or any other whom I truly love, I would willingly submit to have the bone of my arm broken, or to let a bull toss me, or to stand behind a kicking horse, and let it dash its hoof at my chest”

 “I am my husband’s life as fully as he is mine. . . . To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company. . . . We are precisely suited in character—perfect concord is the result'' Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!—I have as much soul as you—and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you.”

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A Streetcar Named Desire

Modern- Tennessee Williams


  • Blanche’s struggle to find a man- The one person shewas involved with fails to be a compatible husband(Homosexuality), Fate- supposed to be alone. Could not even make itmwork with Mitch-Going from place to place – ‘run from one leaky roof to another’ looking for a man, unsuccessfulrelationships
  • Blanche bathes herself. Her sexual experiences have made her a hysterical woman, but these baths, as she says, calm her nerves- represent her efforts to cleanse herself of her odious history. Can'terase the past, her bathing is never done. Stanley shows after beating Stella- soothe his violent temper- does it again, water represent transparency and instability of their actions
  • Looks at sexual love and consequences for women- destruction of her reputation, can never escape
  • Abusive relationships
  • Female dependency on men- Stella can't leave Stanley
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The Great Gatsby- F Scott Fitzgerald


  • If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away.
  • "And I like large parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy."
  • The colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her. It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one.
  • "Can't repeat the past?" he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!”
  • I was within and without doubt, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life



  • There are many love stories explored in the Great Gatsby. Firstly the love between Daisy and Gatsby; Gatsby feels inferior by his lower social class to Daisy so resorts to desperate measures to become rich in order to impress her. His love for her is idealistic and desperate. Daisy also loves Gatsby but is materialistic and hollow so she abandons Gatsby when discovering his past.

The love between Tom and Daisy is complicated; Daisy admits to loving Tom in the past but not when Gatsby is back in her life. However, Tom is wealthy and socially acceptable to her so stays with him; Nick is critical of Tom and Daisy, viewing their upper class antics as vulgar and shallow. There is also relationships between Nick and Jordon Baker, a famous tennis player in the book and Tom Buchanan has a mistress; the wife of his mechanic


  • Daisy accepts Tom's infidelity, but then cheats on him herself.

Restriction of love

  • Daisy and Gatsby are prevented from being with each other
  • Marriage, society, money all prevent them


  • Great Gatsby, the theme of Jealousy is shown through Tom and Gatsby. They are jealous of each other because of where their relationship stands with Daisy.

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