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“Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part” by Michael Drayton, “That time of year thou mayst in me behold” by William Shakespeare and “Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Introduction

Geraldine Caba´┐Żero Word count: 2737 A comparison of "Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part" by Michael Drayton, "That time of year thou mayst in me behold" by William Shakespeare and "Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink" by Edna St. Vincent Millay Sonnets are fourteen lined poems that follow an iambic pentameter and have a strict rhyming scheme. There are two types of rhyming patterns used in sonnets, Petrarchan and Shakespearean, each is named after the famous sonneteer that made these patterns their trademark. I have chosen one Shakespearean sonnet and another sonnet written by Michael Drayton, both are pre-1900 texts. I chose these two sonnets because they both share the theme of separation."That time of year thou mayst in me behold" by William Shakespeare compares well with Michael Drayton's "Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part", as they both use imagery to convey their feelings about the love in their relationships. Shakespeare is thought to be the greatest sonneteer of all time, in this sonnet he is asking his lover to make the most of their relationship now as when he grows too old she won't love him anymore and will leave. He uses nature to portray how he is maturing for example he compares himself to autumn and the falling leaves. Drayton's sonnet is about the end of a relationship and what his feelings are about it. Unlike Shakespeare's sonnet, Drayton uses microcosmic imagery by personifying his feelings to show that they are much more personal rather than Shakespeare's which uses macrocosmic imagery by using the environment. ...read more.

Middle

It does this by depicting a picture of a fire burning and eventually turning into ashes, "in me thou seest the glowing of such fire". The speaker yet again says to the woman that she has seen him as a burning fire, but now he is only "glowing", meaning his energy for life has burned out. Then the speaker goes on to say that he feels expired, and now he lays on his deathbed. The flicking flames of a fire are being compared to the vibrancy and youthfulness that he once enjoyed but at this point ashes only remain which signifies that his life has come to a halt and the feeling of enthusiasm has diminished because of age. The final line in the last quatrain says "consumed with that which it was nourished by" meaning the oxygen that at one time fed the flames of the fire are presently being extinguished and the same applies for the speaker. He feels that he is in the final stages of his life. The final couplet explains why he is telling his lover all of this. He explains that as his life is nearing its end, so will their love diminish, so they should try and make the most of the time they have together as knowing that their love will not last forever will intensify it and make it stronger. She will be left with the thought of the love they once shared so it is better that she is left with happy memories of their time together. I think that this is quite a manipulative way of getting her to show him more affection. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both pre-1900 sonnets illustrate the end of love with dying imagery, this implies that life is love and without it we are dead. This is clearly demonstrated in Drayton's sonnet when he compares the end of his relationship to a pulse failing. Millay, however makes it clear that although it is precious, we do not need love to survive. Millay uses images of material things which we depend on to depict how we portray love, for example we look for comfort in love like shelter and we hang onto loved ones as if we need them to survive. Drayton's sonnet compares love to life and Shakespeare shows his graceful ageing through images of nature. The sonnets all uses things that we appreciate and hold dear to ourselves, our home, our lives and the beauty that surrounds us. But Millay doesn't stick to using, physical or emotional metaphors she combines them. For example "Nor yet clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone" may seem like a physical metaphor explaining that it cannot heal disease or mend broken bones. But figuratively speaking love can heal broken hearts and nurture "diseased" minds that take a cynical approach to love. All three sonnets follow the Shakespearean rhyming scheme but Millay's and Drayton's sonnet both have a petrachean break in them. The break in the middle of the sonnet seems to indicate a change of subject and of tone, both sonnets consider how important love is to them. Millay indicates that's she would not sacrifice love for material things and Drayton ends by in the hope of love being rekindled. Both poets show that love doesn't necessarily mean sacrificing life as it can be rekindled and although it has immense power it isn't essential to survival. ...read more.

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