Question 1 : Read the extract and answer the questions that follow.
“If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say,
“I love her for her smile – her look – her way
Of speaking gently,-for a trick of thought
The falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day”-
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee – and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so.”
i) Who is the speaker ? What concern does the speaker express here?
Answer : The speaker, here is a woman. She expresses the concern that her lover should love her for love’s sake and not for her smile, looks or her way of talking because if he does that, then the love between them might fade with time.
ii) What according to the speaker should the lover do?
Answer : According to the speaker, the lover should love her for love’s sake and not for her outer appearances. She wants him to not love her for her smile, looks or her way of talking because all these things are short lived.
iii) Why does she not want her lover to love her smile?
Answer : She does not want her lover to love her smile because it’s short lived and might change or fade away with time and the love which was based on it shall fade away too. Superficial things such as smile are momentary and may go through a change with the passage of time.
iv) What might happen if the lover lover her for her smile?
Answer : If her lover loves her for her smile then there’s a possibility that her smile might fade with time. If this happens then the love that was based on the smile might also fade away and get lost.
v) What kind of love does the speaker wish for?
Answer : The speaker wishes for a love that is free from the shadow of outer appearances and is pure in itself. It should not be based on the smile, looks or the way of talking of the beloved. This is unconditional love. She thinks that love which is based on physical aspects does not live long. She wishes for true love which remains very far from worldly pleasure. It has deep attachment with soul. It never declines and goes to immortality.
Question 2 : Read the extract and answer the questions that follow.
“Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry,
A creature might forget to weep who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose they love thereby.
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou may’st love on, through love’s eternity.”
i) Name the person and the poet. Why does the speaker think that she might forget to weep?
Answer : The name of the poem is ‘If Thou Must Love Me’ and the name of the poet is Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The speaker thinks that she might forget to weep due to the love that her lover showers upon her and the happiness she experiences with him would not let her weep.
ii) What does the line “Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry” mean?
Answer : The speaker says that she wants her lover not to love her out of sympathy or pity. She might just forget how to weep and then there would be no more tears to be wiped off by her lover. The poet thinks that she might forget her pain and sorrow and not shed tears after enjoying the comfort of her lover’s company for a long time. This would not invoke in him any pity and she would lose his lover for her.
iii) Do you think the nature of the speaker is uncompromising? Why?
Answer : Yes, the nature of the speaker seems uncompromising. She wants her lover to love her the way she wants. She is demanding and wants love to he her way which is a complete opposite of unconditional love.
iv) Do you agree with his/her views of love? Why/Why not?
Answer : No, I don’t agree with her views on love because every individual loves someone in their own way. The speaker here seems to demand to be loved the way she wants, regardless of how her lover might want to love her.
v) Explain: “love me for love’s sake”.
Answer : “Love me for love’s sake” means that the lover should love her for the sake of love and not for her smile, her looks or her way of talking. If he does so, then the love which is based on these things will fade away with the loss of physical beauty. Loving for love’s sake means loving unconditionally because all other things are empty and hollow. Unconditional love for love’s sake is the deeper love that embraces all ups and downs and fluctuations in life.