Emily Bronte‘s “Love and Friendship” is a beautiful poem illustrating the importance of these two emotional relationships in one’s life. She shows how love and friendship appear at different Limes in your life, or how they can overlap, Love may be prominent at some times and friendship at others, or friends may be pushed aside by the addition of a new love She asks the question: which of the two is really the most constant and consistent? Overall, I believe she’s on the side of both love and friendship but feels as though one should not be lost for the sake of the other.
At the end of the day, however, friends may be there when lovers may not be, She states that “Love is like the wild rose-briar; Friendship like the holly-tree‘K There is a deeper symbolism here, The rose-briar has been known to represent passion and the holly-tree can represent peace. This is not lost on me as a reader, and simply adds to the simile, which is definitely the most important poetic device in the play.
These similes set the story for the entire poem. Love, as represented by the rose-briar, is fair and “sweet in spring”, but by winter it’s scorned and less beautiful. Spring here is the beginning of the relationship or love and winter is the unfortunate end. As I know, and I’m sure you do, as well, love is perfect and wonderful in the beginning. Grass is greener, the air smells sweeter, things that once bothered you don’t anymore and life is perfect.
Of course, all good things must end, right? Unfortunately, love is no exception. The ending of love can be the darkest chapter in a person‘s life. The sky is less blue, your favorite food loses its taste and the very foundation of your life seems to crumble around you. What is so magnificent in the beginning can turn to something far less joyful at the end.
She says, “Friendship is dark when the rose-briar blooms” as a reminder not to let your friends fall away when a new romance is budding. The lines “Scorn the silly rose-wreath now and deck thee with the holly’s sheen” is her way of saying to forget about the love that has ended, cast it aside and instead, find yourself in the company of friends. Take their platonic love and wrap that around yourself and let it settle into those places left empty by the rose-briar. Don’t be sad, for there is plenty of holly to fill the void. There, in the dark and gloomy end, you will still have your loyal friends by your side to pick you back up and keep some light in your life Even if the rose-briar darkens and dies, the holly-tree “may still leave the garland green”. Not all hope is lost because friendship prevails and “will bloom more consistently” than love Peace does tend to last far longer than passion, after all.