Love And Marriage In The Puritan Era

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Love and Marriage has been a huge topic in the Puritan Era. It is argued by critics that puritans treat Love and Marriage as the meanings of life as they represents the “relationship that structures everything: God’s covenant with believers” (Furey 201). How love situates itself in men’s relationship with god is discussed in many Puritan literature. Two puritan poets, Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor have been famous for their expressions of their affection and humility towards God in their poems. Yet, it is argued that they dealt with the topics of Love and Marriage differently. While Bradstreet sees the loving relationship between husband and wife as a way to praise God and to claim the heavenly rewards in afterlife, Taylor believes…show more content…
According to critic Leites, puritans pursue a life which is “in the realm of everyday conduct, ethically strict; in the realm of belief, meticulously scrupulous; in matters of ritual, simple, and in matters of piety, deeply concerned with the inward state of the soul” (Leites 383). He further argues that the piety is analogical with the Puritan’s notion of love, which requires not only the “outward fulfillment of the duties of marriage”, but also “the proper intentions and feelings towards the spouse” (Leites 383). Although there seems to be an existence of a general believe towards the significance of Love and Marriage among puritans in that period, when examining how these subjects are discussed in puritan poems, it is recognised that differences persist. In this essay, poems from two puritan poets, Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor, will be analysed and compared with emphasis on the topics of Love and…show more content…
Critics have argued that while the explicit message conveying in some of her poems is that “love of God is of greater weight than love of husband or children”, the underlying notion is that she gives “equal if not greater weight to the bonds of marriage and parenting” (Hall 188). In “To My Dear and Loving Husband”, Bradstreet discusses the idea of salvation. In puritanism, marriage and the procreation of children is viewed as one of the duties for puritan couple, and that people have no control over their destiny in afterlife. Yet, Bradstreet’s tone suggests that the virtuous love is not a duty but a blessing as she glorifies her love with her husband. Furthermore, love can eventually earn them a place in heaven and lead to heavenly redemption. In the first three lines of the poem, there is a repetition of “if ever”. It is argued that this repetition of conditionals intensifies the strength of the bond and love between Bradstreet and her husband, in which there is nobody that can “claim greater unity, love or happiness” than the two (Furey 209). In the lines “Thy love is such I can no way repay, The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray”, Bradstreet continues to praise her love of her husband and even assimilates the love to the heavenly rewards in the afterlife. In the final two lines “Then while we live, in love let’s so persevere That when we live no more, we may live
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