What are the main ideas of Aphra Behn's poems "Love Armed" and "On Her Loving Two Equally"?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Aphra Behn is a prolific seventeenth-century English writer, known for her fiction, plays, poetry and nonfiction. Both poems you mention are available online (references below).

"Love Armed" consists of two eight-line stanzas rhymed ababcdcd. It is written in iambic tetrameters. The poem is an extended metaphor that describes love putting on arms the way a knight girds himself for battle. From the narrator, Love takes passive forms of suffering but from her beloved active types of cruelty. Thus the narrator suffers in love but the beloved is unscathed and victorious.

"On Her Loving Two Equally" consists of three six-line stanzas rhymed as couplets, aabbcc. The meter is iambic tetrameter. The poem is in the form of a speech addressed to Cupid, the god of love. The narrator is in love with two men, Damon and Alexis. She wishes that Cupid would take back one of the golden darts that caused her to love both so she would only love one.

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