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Compare the presentation of love within the three sonnets studied.

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Kayleigh White 11R January 2004 Compare the presentation of love within the three sonnets studied. The three sonnets that I studied were, "How do I love thee?" by Elizabeth Barret-Browning, "Let me not to the marriage of true minds" by William Shakespeare and "Since there's no help let us kiss and part" by Michael Drayton. Of these three there are numerous differences and similarities. It is known that at the time of writing her sonnet, Elizabeth Barret-Browning was happily married to Robert Browning, but without the consent of her father. They moved to Italy where she began to use the Petrachan form of sonnet. At the time when William Shakespeare wrote he was known to have already established himself as an actor and playwright and was working for the leading company, the Lord's Chamberlain's Men. In Drayton's sonnet we see that he was a contemporary of Shakespeare, this poem comes from a long sequence of sonnets called 'Idea's Mirror'. These sonnets were all inspired by his unrequited love for Anne Goodere, although he himself never married. As with Shakespeare his use of personification is extremely effective. Although their styles differ all three poets are speaking of their love for another person. ...read more.


with him that he ends his sonnet with the rhyming couplet; "If this be error and upon me prov'd, I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd." Thus showing that if this sonnet is wrong and proved to be then he never writ it and noone ever loved. This can also be interpreted as Shakespeare being cocky, he is quite sure of himself and the accuracy of his sonnet that he is willing to make an extreme statement. The general tone of Browning's sonnet is a heart felt, true expression of her love for her husband, she counts the numerous ways of how she feels and lines such as; "With my lost saints, - I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life!" Showing that she loves him with the most powerful feelings of all she has experienced in her life, her tears and smiles and the breaths she take each day. This differs from Shakespeare as he has a general confident manner and is stating the feelings and meanings of love. He uses personification in the lines; "Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom." ...read more.


Shakespeare use of rhyme in alternate lines is also effective and lends itself well to his language and style used. The words "fixed" and "wand'ring" are designed specially for this sonnet, as there must be ten syllables and 5 stresses in a Shakespearian sonnet. Shakespeare's use of language does not differ very much from Drayton as they were written around a particular period. Although in Drayton's sonnet he is infact talking of getting rid of love and how he will feel after it has gone, he seems to want to be relieved of the feelin, Shakespeare however is talking of how great love is and how it does not alter. In comparison Browning's sonnet is the most different out of all three in her presentation of love. Her compassionate tone and kindhearted comments rule over he sonnet and seem to guide her to all correct places of describing. The effectiveness that Shakespeare, Browning and Drayton all have is one to make us all want to experience love. The three very different sonnets are similar in their presentation of love, as they all enjoy it, apart from Drayton who now wants to be free of the hold it has on him. But as we can learn from Shakespeare, Drayton may find it hard to do so. ...read more.

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