AP English 12
Eros Compare and Contrast Essay
Eros also known as Cupid; the Greek god of love, is known for his immortal beauty through ancient, modern art, and literature. Bridges and Stevenson show there opinions’ of Eros through two different poems. Bridges portrays Eros as being beautiful and as important as Zeus, as for Stevenson; she sees Eros as misunderstood god, who is abused for his lust. Through using poetic devices these writers show that there is more of Eros than may be portrayed. Through two different poems we, get two different Eros.
Bridges imagery in “Eros” shows how his beauty may be recognized, but how little people notice how lonely he is. Bridges describes Eros' beauty through vivid imagery and epithets, such as "idol of the human race" (2), "flower of lovely youth" (4), "image of external Truth" (6), "exuberant flesh so fair" (6), "chaste marmoreal form" (9), and "starry sheen of nakedness". The declaration that only the talented sculptor, Pheidias could create something as beautiful as Eros is yet another compliment on his looks. The repetition of the word "human" in lines two and three shows that even though he is not human, but immortal he does portray emotions as of a human. In line 13 "Surely thy body is thy mind" it shows that Eros would be considered in our century just as a “pretty boy” who is very naïve, with no thoughts of his own. With using traditional poetic devices, like the usage of the ballad verse and consistent rhyme scheme, Bridges creates an old time persona which, enhances his beauty. "None who e'er long'd for thy grace" shows that Eros has helped many people fall in love and have love, yet he has not found love for himself. Also Bridges, is writing in third person so we are reading from someone prospective, as for in Stevenson's poem, she is writing from first person, which makes it more personal with the reader and the character.
Stevenson's poem describes the abuse that Eros must experience as a result of becoming the god of lust. While love is one of humanity's greatest gifts, lust, especially in excess, is one of its foulest. So this poem happens to be more emotionally appealing than Bridges' because its focus is on the physical and emotional situations he goes through. She shows the abuse that he goes through, by introducing diction, such as "broken nose" (3), "boxer lips" (7), "patchy wings askew" (8), "brute" (10), "long overuse" (11), "blows" (15), "battered visage" (21), and "bruised" (22). With the inconsistence rhyme scheme that she uses it shows the hardness in his abuse, with people going straight towards to his looks instead of actually trying to understand him. Stevenson’s poem is more hardened and bare than Bridges which is longer and more worded, which may portray that Stevenson is using less words to show more of fragility that he has experienced. Eros in Stevenson’s’ poem is more hopeful that people will start to look at him more than just his looks but for who he is. Stevenson states "Better my battered visage/Bruised but hot/than love dissolved in loss/or left to rot" (21-24).
Bridges and Stevenson are very different in the way that they reveal their character in their poems. They both have the same stanza structure that is able for the reader to comprehend their point of views. They also have the same common tone, leading the reader to have sympathy for Eros, who has been abused and misjudged because of the way that he is. What the writers don’t understand is that you may write as much as you please and that it is okay to have your own opinion but Eros reputation will always be the same.