The three poems I have chosen all deal with the idea of conflict but in different ways. Our love now and To his coy mistress are both persuasive poems. The conflict in the poem Rapunzelstilstkin is the relationship between the man and the woman; the woman in the poem is frustrated because the prince does not know what she wants. To understand the poem we have to go back to the fairy tales where the poem title has come from, these are Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin.Rapunzel is about a girl, Rapunzel, who was imprisoned in a tower by a wicked witch, and who used her ineradicably long hair as a rope to allow her rescuer, the prince, to climb into the tower.
The other story is about a dwarf called Rumpelstiltskin, who wove gold out of straw for a girl to keep her from trouble with the king. To pay the dwarf, the girl promised to give her first-born child to him. This was unless she could find out his name; she does this and the dwarf tears himself in to through frustration.In both of these stories, the women have had to be helped by men. They could not have got anywhere without the help they received. Rapunzel would have had to stay in the tower with the evil witch and the girl helped by Rumpelstiltskin would have been in a lot of trouble with the king.
The difference in this poem is that the woman is getting along fine without the man and when he tries to intervene she gets annoyed because he has no idea what she wants. To make this worse, the man is oblivious to the fact that he is not pleasing the woman. I’ll do everything in my power” he intoned, “but the impossible (she groaned) might take a little longer. He grinned”. To us, the reader, it is obvious that the woman is not happy. She groans when the man says that he is trying his hardest to do what she wants but he does not realise that she is unhappy, straight after she has groaned, he grins.
It is the writer’s use of words in this part of the poem that create the humorous effect. She uses words that are very similar in the way they are spelt but very different in what they actually mean. These words are “groaned” and “grinned”.Groaned gives us the impression that the woman is not happy whereas grinned shows how the man is pleased with himself. The poem comes from the opinion of the woman and it is clear that she does not have a high opinion of the man.
“Till, soon, he was shimmying in ; out, every over day as though, he owned the place…. ” This gives us the impression that the woman feels as if the man being in her tower is an intrusion of her own private place. This is strange in itself because in the original story of Rapunzel the woman cannot wait to be rescued from the tower she is imprisoned in.The woman does not appreciate the man coming in and out of her tower and acting as if “he owned the place” The tower is the home of the woman and as the poem tells us “she had almost come to accept her situation”.
The woman is carrying on with things and not just waiting for the man to come and rescue her. The writer used modern words to show us that the woman in the poem has her own opinions and that she is not the damsel in distress type of character that we are used to in old fairy tales.When she is describing the man that comes to “rescue” the woman, the prince, she used very modern words. “He did look sort of gorgeous, axe and all”. “Gorgeous” is not the kind of word that we would expect to be used, maybe something more like “handsome” would create the impression of a heroic rescuer. The word gorgeous is used today to describe someone or something that is so beautiful that it is almost out of our reach and is just there to be looked at. Such as the prince, he may be “gorgeous”, but he just there to be looked at and not someone to put all your hopes into.
The writer also used a bit of humour in this quote, an “axe” is also a slang term used today for an electric guitar. We would not expect a prince to come along to save a girl in a tower with an electric guitar and looking “gorgeous”. This description of the prince makes him seem like he is someone from a dream or a rock star, someone you could not imagine yourself actually being with. There are more references to the prince being something for someone’s imagination. “Just hang on and we’ll get you out of there” he hollered like a fireman in some soap opera.
People in soap operas are actors and this is what the prince is, he is trying to act as if he is the heroic savoir of this desperate, helpless woman. Our love now is a poem where the conflict lies in the fact that the two people involved in a relationship have completely opposite ideas of the present state of their love. The man in the poem believes that their love can be salvaged whereas the woman sees the relationship as over. The poem takes the form of a conversation between this man and woman.Its is clear that the man in the poem has a much more positive attitude towards their relationship, looking forward to find a healing and a solution to whatever has caused the couple to have such different views on their love. The woman in the poem focuses more on the present and takes a much less optimistic view of their future together. The structure of the poem helps us top understand the conflict between the couple.
The poem is set into stanzas of 6 lines (with the exception of the final stanza which is said by the man and by the woman).Each of these stanzas is said by either the man or the woman, this shows that the two people are separate people and are no longer a couple or a “we”. To his coy mistress is poem where the conflict lies in the fact that we do not have all the time in the world and that we should seize the moment.
The poem is written by a man who is trying to persuade a girl to stop holding back her virginity. The writer uses three main arguments to try and convince the girl that he is right. First of all he uses flattery to get the attention of the woman.He talks about the things they could do in their relationship, how they could walk and “pass our long love’s day”. He also talks about how they would walk by “the Indian Ganges’ side” and how she could find rubies. At the time when this poem was written, India was thought to be very exotic and the people at the time of when the poem was written were fascinated by the precious stones and metals brought back from India. He says to the woman that she could be in India, looking for rubies whereas he gives himself a much more unromantic setting, by the Rive Humber in Hull.This is to show the woman that she is special and that she deserves everything.
He says that we would love her “ten years before the flood” and that he would spend one hundred years admiring her eyes and “two hundred to adore each breast”. The man is saying that this woman deserves an infinite amount of time spent on her, just to admire her wonderful body. The word we need to notice in what he says to her is the word “would”. He would like to spend all of this time loving her but unfortunately, they do not have all the time in the world.The poem starts with how the man “would” do all these things to this woman but he cannot. “Had we but world enough and time, this coyness, lady, were no crime”.
These words lay the foundation for the next part of the writers’ argument. In the second part of the mans argument, he uses descriptions of death to try and scare the girl into realising that life is not eternal and that it is actually pretty short. The man says ” yonder all before us lie, deserts of vast eternity”. This is rather depressing view and the man uses it as apart of his argument, that life is short and that youth should not be wasted.The writer emphasises that death is final and that in death her beauty will be lost, “thy beauty shall no more be found”. He also points out that nothing will count after she is dead. The fact that she is going to be buried in a “marble vault”, shows that she is rather wealthy, but, as he says, “In thy marble vault, shall sound my echoing song”. He is trying to get across that even her wealth will not count in death, let her alone her beauty will be lost.
The next point that the man makes is pretty horrific. “Worms shall try that long preserved virginity”.The writer is trying to show the woman that what she fears in life, losing her virginity, in inevitable.
Although if she waits until she is dead then worms eating her decaying corpse will take her virginity. The man is trying to persuade the woman through creating a sense of fear in her. He hopes that by doing this, she will start to see things from his point of view and sleep with him. To finish of the section in his argument, he again anticipates the next section.
He says, “the grave’s a fine and private place, but none, I think do there embrace”.He uses the word “embrace” which fits into the third part of the mans’ argument, where he uses references to passion to try and persuade the woman to sleep with him. The write uses humour and irony when he talks about there being no love after death. He talks about the grave being “a fine and private place”, a perfect place for two people to carry out sexual liaisons but then he points out that they are dead and that the ability to love and desire is lost. The final part of the argument is a proposed solution to the problem that time is swift and beauty and love are lost in the grave.The writer has already told the woman that she is beautiful in the first part of the argument and in the second he has pointed out that it will soon be lost forever through death.
His solution to this is that they should have sex now, while the woman’s “youthful hue sits on (her) skin like morning dew”. He is telling the woman not to waster her beauty. This is the point in the poem where he first includes the woman his intentions.
Before this, he refers to her as “you” but now he refers to himself and her as “we”.