Love through the ages

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Tom Stoppard (1937 - )


toppard is arguably one of the best and highly regarded playwrights of his generation. He is known for his intellectual and insightful plays which offer a social commentary on life as we know it. Stoppard is perhaps best known for his play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, imagining scenes from Hamlet that Shakespeare didn’t write. Many of Stoppard’s plays look at morals or the lack there of and question social presumption.
The Real Thing (first performed 1982)- Scene 6 - Henry explains Love and the loss of it.
Henry: Yes. Well, I remember, the first time I succumbed to the sensation that the universe was dispensable minus one lady -
Debbie: Don’t write it, Fa. Just say it. The first time you fell in love. What?
Henry: It’s to do with knowing and being known. I remember how it stopped seeming odd that in biblical Greek knowing was used for making love. Whosit knew so and so. Carnal knowledge. It’s what lovers trust each other with. Knowledge of each other, not of the flesh but through the flesh, knowledge of the self, the real him, the real her, in extremis, the mask slipped from the face. Every other vision of oneself is on offer to the public. We share our vivacity, grief, sulks, anger, joy… we hand it out to anybody who happens to be standing around, to friends and family with a momentary sense of indecency perhaps, to strangers without hesitation. Our lovers share us with the passing trade. But in pairs we insist that we give ourselves to each other. What selves? What’s left? What else is there that hasn’t been dealt out like a deck of cards? A sort of knowledge. Personal, final, uncompromised. Knowing, being known. I revere that. Having that is being rich, you can be generous about what’s shared - she walks, she talks, she laughs, she lends a sympathetic ear, she kicks off her shoes and dances on the tables, she’s everybody’s and it don’t mean a thing, let them eat cake; knowledge is something else, the undealt card, and while it’s held it makes you free-and-easy and nice to know, and when it’s gone everything is pain. Every single thing. Every object that meets the eye, a pencil, a tangerine, a travel poster. As if the physical world has been wired up to pass a current back to the part of your brain where imagination glows like a filament in a lobe no bigger than a torch bulb. Pain.

Post-modernism – 1945- present

Post-colonialism – 1950s - present

Wendy Cope (1945 - )


ope is an award-winning contemporary English Poet, writer, television and literature critic and editor of several anthologies of comic verse. Cope’s poetry is comical with insightful views into human nature, much of her work being parodies of others. Her style is often compared to that of John Betjeman and Philip Larkin. She is widely admired by both critics and the general public.
Some men never think of it.

You did. You'd come along

And say you'd nearly brought me flowers

But something had gone wrong.

The shop was closed. Or you had doubts -

The sort that minds like ours

Dream up incessantly. You thought

I might not want your flowers.

It made me smile and hug you then.

Now I can only smile.

But, Look, the flowers you nearly bought

Have lasted all this while.

Feminist Criticism (1960’s – present) seeks to separate the human experience from the male experience and counter the viewpoints of gender and society which are traditionally associated with the patriarchal society which dictates our views.

Post-modernism – 1945- present

Post- Colonialism – 1950’s - present

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