Margot Clarke Ms Woods - ENG
“I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold”. Is it possible to love someone this much? Whilst we might not understand the type of love Anne Bradstreet expresses in her poem, To My Dear and Loving Husband, we can all relate to the feeling of love. Bradstreet, America’s first published poet, wrote her poem between 1641 and 1643 to proclaim her great love for her husband, the one who completes her. In her passionate expression of love, Bradstreet reflects on traditional Puritan beliefs and attitudes during the seventeenth century towards love, marriage and religion where it was expected for true love to be the basis of marriage. Through following these expectations, she represents love as being unconditional and eternal. By using imagery through hyperboles and religious connotations, Bradstreet has effectively portrayed her love for her husband as being unconditional and forever.
Before going deeper into the meaning of the poem, let’s first acknowledge the unusualness for a woman during the 1600s to appear dominant in expressing their love. Women during the seventeenth century were expected to fulfil the role of being more submissive and reserved, however, Bradstreet challenges these social norms. The meaning of this poem is quite simple; Bradstreet loves her husband very much. However, she expresses this meaning through various themes throughout the poem to describe their compatibility and value of their love. She tends to reinforce their great love with connotations to wealth and God. This figurative language creates powerful imagery of her true devotion to their marriage which she values highly.
To understand Bradstreet's unconditional love for her husband, let's begin by looking at the hyperbole in lines 5 and 6; "I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold/Or all the riches that the East doth hold". The hyperboles, ‘whole’ and ‘all the riches’, and its connotations to wealth and gold dictates that there is nothing more valuable and powerful than the love she has and shares with her husband and helps to evoke the immense feeling of love Bradstreet has towards her husband; she doesn't just love him, she ‘prizes’ and values him. As we know, the East, or you might think of it as Asia, in the seventeenth century was a highly valued place because of its exotic wealth in silk and spices. By comparing...