Love and hate. Two words that greatly oppose one another and yet result in each other. These binaries always conflict and the two writers (Shakespeare and Browning) expose them in various intelligent ways.
For example, In Julius Caesar, Shakespeare presents love and hate through many scenarios. Take Caesar’s death as an example, Brutus killed Caesar for the “freedom” and love towards Rome as he thought Caesar was taking advantage of his power and people. Brutus disagreed with Caesar’s mindset and goals for Rome as he thought they would affect Rome and he wanted something to be done about it before it became too late. That’s when Caesar’s death took place. Brutus and the other men decided that their love for Rome results into hate towards Caesar. As Casca’s dagger entered the soul of Caesar, he yells, “Speak hands for me!” This is where love and hate collide and result to Caesar’s death. Casca’s quote shows us his actions (The stabbing) will show its meaning and will deliver justice as he slides the dagger into Caesar. The motion of the dagger slicing through the surface of the skin was the mark of freedom to Brutus and his men.
Shortly after the death of Caesar, Anthony confronts Brutus and says, “Thou wast the forest to this hart …the heart of thee”. He uses this metaphor to show us how Caesar was a “hart” and how people and Rome were the “forest” to Caesar, explaining that Caesar loved everyone. At Julius Caesar’s funeral, Brutus expresses how the death of Caesar is the symbol of how he accepts both Rome and Caesar. He says, “Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more”. Referring to his actions being caused by his love towards Rome. He also says “As I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself whom it please.” He says this to change the mindset of the public. For those that disagree with his actions on Caesar, they have the right to get up and take Brutus’s life. showing the public his willing to die for the love of Rome as all actions were made for Rome.
By the end of the play, Brutus decides it’s time for him to take his own life as he has realised he was wrong of his actions and he decides suicide is his only way of offering mercy to Caesar. Whilst he managed to persuade Strato into holding the dagger for him whilst he runs into the dagger, Brutus’s last words were, “Caesar, now be still, I kill’d not thee with half so good a will.” Brutus’s intention of saying this was to show Caesar that he wasn’t half as good as a man as Caesar and that he doesn’t have to haunt him any further.
Overall Julius Caesar allows us to explore how love and hate result to one another and how the two natural emotions have a big impact on people everyday lives. That’s why Caesar death allows us to gain great knowledge on the range of ways love and hate take its toll.
Conflict between love and hate is also shown in Robert Browning’s poetry. Take “The Laboratory” as an example. In the Laboratory, we have the narrator, Pauline who has figured out she’s being cheated on. This has caused Pauline a lot of stress resulting in her possessing suicidal thoughts. On stanza six, Pauline says,”Soon at the King’s, a mere lozenge to give, and Pauline should have just thirty minutes to live! But to light a pastile, and Elise, with her head and her breast and her arms and her hands should drop dead!” The quotation shows us how Pauline’s anger builds up whilst using repetition of the word “and” by saying different body parts will drop dead that are attractive to men purposely from her hate.
She also wants to take her own life because of the amount of love she had towards her lover. A lot of hate has been caused towards both her lover and lover’s lover (which goes by the name of Elise). Pauline aims to take down Elise to hurt her Lover the same way he hurt her. She plans to do this by taking Elise’s life as she knows it’s no longer possible to be with her lover. She does this by poisoning Elise then taking her own life to give her lover a lot of pain from her hate towards him. This is another great example of conflict between love and hate and it shows how they both contradict each other or result to one another.
Robert Browning’s “Porphyria’s Lover” also allows us to explore how love and hate can conflict each other and is another great comparison to Julius Caesar and Browning’s other poetry. In Porphyria’s lover, we have a scenario of a girl named Porphyria and the speaker who remains unnamed. Porphyria expresses all of her love towards the speaker and obsesses over him. The speaker then explains to us his story of murdering Porphyria. He says, “She shut the cold out and the storm, and kneeled and made the cheerless grate blaze up, and all the cottage warm; which done, she rose, and from her form withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl, and laid her soiled gloves by, untied her hat and let her damp hair fall. And last, she sat down by my side and called me. When no voice replied, she put my arm about her waist…” Porphyria continues to shows her love towards the speaker and begins to seduce him. In surprise, The speaker wraps Porphyria’s blonde hair around her neck three times then strangles her.
He also says in the last four lines, “Her darling one wish would be heard. And thus we sit together now, And all night long we have not stirred, And yet god has not said a word!”. This indicates that Porphyria has died. Throughout the whole scenario, the speakers actions, were all actions of hate however he truly did love her. Even though he doesn’t mention it, the speaker hints out his love towards her and he felt that he shouldn’t be lucky enough to have such a person for “himself” causing him to punish himself by killing Porphyria. This is another way Browning has shown us how love and hate contradict each other.
Robert Browning also wrote a poem called “A women’s last word”. In A women’s last word, browning gives us a scenario a bit different to our normal structure of he’s poems. Instead of Love eventually leading to hate, in a women’s last word hate has led to love. A women’s last word is about a women speaking to her partner trying to end their tensions and arguments. Her aim is to revert all the hate standing in between them into love. She says in stanza two and three, “what so wild as words are? I and thou in debate, as birds are, Hawks on bough! See the creature stalking while we speak! Hush and hide the talking, cheek on cheek!”. The speaker is explaining to her partner how all their arguments and disagreements are as wild as birds are, “hawk on bough”.
She expresses how she wishes to exchange all the hate into love from arguments to kisses, teaching eachother how to love and for her partner to be a charming man and hold/possess her only through love. Robert Brownings intentions throughout all his poems is to show us how love and hate have a major link and how unrecognisable it is. However in a “women’s last word” he shows us that it’s not only love that results to hate, but hate can lead to love.
This is how love and hate is presented in Julius Caesar and Robert Browning and how it either results to one another or how it conflicts each other.