• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast the different attitudes to love in "To His Coy Mistress" and "Sonnet 116".

Extracts from this document...


Neha Shah - 10EC/10P2 Compare and Contrast The Different Attitudes to Love In "To His Coy Mistress" and "Sonnet 116" The two poems "To His Coy Mistress" and "Sonnet 116" are written about the same subject, love and time. Both poets are similar and describe the theme as being very important; however from different perspectives. Marvell expresses love in a more corporal sense whereas Shakespeare describes love emotionally and mentally. He gives us an insight of what it means to him. The use of time is also an important subject matter in both poems. Throughout "To His Coy Mistress" the theme of time alters. We discover that in the first stanza there's a feeling of being threatened by time - "Nor, in thy marble vault...". In the last stanza Marvell describes time more logically and that time should be used more wisely. Evidence of this is when he states: "Rather at once our time devour" In contrast, the value of time doesn't change in "Sonnet 116". Shakespeare feels "Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks". Love is irrelevant with time and does not change instead it grows stronger. One important factor in the both poems is the mood and atmosphere they create. ...read more.


Where as in "Sonnet 116" is written as an opinion. In Marvell's poem the verses and key words are linked to the past, present and future. The key words being "had", "but" and "now". For example the first line of the first verse states, "Had we but world enough, and time". This line is in the future tense. He questions himself asking if only there was enough time in the world. He then ends the stanza with "Nor would I love at lower rate" on line twenty which is in the present. By this he means he will not love any faster in this present time at the moment. "To His Coy Mistress" also uses rhyming couplets effectively to convey his inner feelings: "My vegetable love should grow Vaster that empires, and more slow". He uses irregular sentence lengths to create a slower pace of time. Marvell tries to create more time. In contrast Shakespeare tries to use same sentence lengths. Each line must have the same beat to create a steadier pace. He also uses a rhyming scheme. Shakespeare uses the same rhyming schemes in all his other sonnets. ...read more.


Shakespeare on the other hand expresses what love is, rather than praising a loved one. Unlike Marvell he doesn't use compliments. He makes you read between the lines and creates a more complex feeling. In conclusion I personally prefer Sonnet 116, simply because Shakespeare states his feeling about love in a more polite form and with a positive attitude. I feel that in "To His Coy Mistress" Marvell gives us an initial impression that he loves a beautiful young woman. However, as the poem develops with time, we discover that her beauty will fade parallel to Marvell's affection to her. Lust becomes more dominant over love. I think Marvell reveals a sly characteristic, in that he uses time and love to convince his Mistress that they should seize this opportunity now, but in fact he uses that to fulfil his yearning desire for his mistress. On the other hand, in "Sonnet 116" Shakespeare tries to express the truth and purity of real love. I feel that he is successful in showing this when he starts of saying if two people are committed to each other and want to be together then nothing should stop them; - "Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love". ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Love Poetry essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "My Last Duchess" and "To His Coy Mistress" Compare the presentation of the men ...

    4 star(s)

    We also see the Duke's self-control slip and his real self as a possessive person is partially revealed. We see the speaker's respect for the woman's body rather then her individuality when he says, "My vegetable love should grow." This phallic symbol shows us that he is just talking to her because he wants to have sex with her.

  2. Sonnet 116 - Write a critical appreciation of this Shakespearian sonnet, in which you ...

    In the third and fourth line, Shakespeare explains what love isn't. According to him, Love isn't love, if it changes when the circumstances around it change: 'which alters when it alteration finds'. Change is a very common thing, and consequently, the poet suggests that, obviously, change will come one way

  1. Compare the poets' representation of the lover in 'To His Coy Mistress' and 'Porphyria's ...

    The tone through out 'To his coy mistress' changes. In the first stanza ostensibly he is flattering her, but when you read through it again you pick up on how his flattery is measured in time, "Two hundred to adore each breast" here the speaker sounds as though he might be wearing a sly smile.

  2. Shakespeare's Sonnet 116.

    and true, there should be no sort of disintegrating aspect; love does not fold or bend to the like of either party. He states, "Love is not love / Which alters when it alteration finds, / Or bends with the remover to remove."

  1. Explore The Different Attitudes Towards Love With Reference to Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18” and “Sonnet ...

    Browning uses sensual language, which would have been quite shocking at the time the poem was written; While describing Porphyria divesting, use of words such as "withdrew", "laid" and "fall" would have appealed to the male audience reading it. In the eighteen hundreds it was the men who pursued women,

  2. Sonnet 116, By William Shakespeare.

    The four lines in this stanza have a rhyme of "a, b, a, b", where 'a' rhymes with its corresponding 'a' and the same with 'b'. In the following Stanza, the poet compares love with various objects. He states that love is an ever-fixed mark, which cannot be erased.

  1. Show How the poet uses language to explore the theme of love in the ...

    I liked the way he believes that in her he can find no fault, "And when she looked, what could I ail? In the second stanza the writer continues to describe his feelings and emotions over this girl and he feels dazed and almost confused by the splendour of this

  2. 'Sonnet 116'

    The house stays there as true love does. Love can handle anything, be it a storm or an earthquake. True love brings a sense of safety and strength. It is so strong that it can overcome anything in its path. Shakespeare uses the image or a storm to show me his views on love.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work