• 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 presentation of the theme of relationship in "Neutral tones" by Thomas Hardy and "Sonnet XVIII" by William Shakespeare.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and contrast the presentation of the theme of relationship in "Neutral tones" by Thomas Hardy and "Sonnet XVIII" by William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare's poem "Shall I compare thee to a summers day?" or "Sonnet XVIII" as it is commonly referred to was composed at the end of the sixteenth century in the renaissance period. It is an Elizabethan love sonnet. In this era, the people had a taste for witty poems with a common stance for the lover to woo his mistress. Thomas Hardy's poem "Neutral Tones" was in contrast written on a later date during the Victorian era. Although the poems were written in very different time periods, they both share a similar relevance to their conception of love. Both poems are focused on love as their subject matter throughout, although this does not mean that they are alike in structure, form or style. In fact the opposite is true as the two poems contrast in their portrayal of love. Shakespeare's poem "Sonnet XVIII" is in fact a sonnet comprising of fourteen iambic pentameter decasyllabic lines which are divided into three quatrains and one rhyming couplet. Hardy's poem, in contrast, is written in four by four line stanzas. However both poems have a regular rhyming scheme, Shakespeare's quatrains have alternate coupling rhymes contrasted to ABBA rhyming scheme, which has a definite end to each stanza, just like the end to the relationship. ...read more.

Middle

The poem is shown to be complete as Shakespeare answers his original question here, summer will end but she will not be forgotten, as the poem is a sign of remembrance in her honour. The repeated use of "this" in the close of the poem is referring to the poem itself. It shows that through the poem, the mistress will live forever. "So long as men can breathe or eyes can see" - is an indication to how her beauty will live on for as long as the earth remains. The speaker shows his undying love for his mistress here. In contrast to this image of a perfect, perpetual love shown in Shakespeare's "Sonnet XVIII", Thomas Hardy gives an account of a failed love. In contrast to Shakespeare's use of summer imagery in the opening line, Hardy makes his view on love clear with the use of insipid colours "white" "gray" and winter imagery- "We stood by a pond that winter day" This alone creates a sad, sombre atmosphere, as winter is associated with death, like the death of the relationship. The tone of the first line is far from similar to the happy, witty tone shown in "Sonnet XVIII". The juxtaposition of winter imagery and of vowels: a, o, and u create a sense that the line is being dragged out, which achieves a sense of a static, lifeless relationship. ...read more.

Conclusion

The narrator is talking about other relationships he has learned from or possibly the lesson he has learnt from this woman. The tone of this stanza reflects his discontent and shows how, with the passing of time, his resentment has intensified. The final two lines of the poem present a very paradoxical idea of the relationship, as they imply that the more they talk, the less fond of each other they grow. The third line suggests that the narrator has become somewhat hateful towards the mistress. He refers to the mistress using "God-curst sun..." which is a use of negative imagery. The poem finishes on a very definite note. Hardy uses pathetic fallacy to show how everything is dead. The poem ends where it began, at the side of a pond, and as a sign of the end, the pond is "edged with grayish leaves" implying that their relationship is dead. Although both writers use very similar methods to show their experiences of love, the two methods contrast in relation to style and imagery. Both poems share the same topic and are very closely related in terms of form and meaning but a clear comparison can be made to distinguish the two different attitudes towards love and relationships. My preference is Hardy's poem, as I prefer the four by four line stanzas. I find this breaks up the poem better. The language describing this failed attempt at love compared to Shakespeare's poem of a thriving love, is to the point and creates a sense of pity towards the speaker. ...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. Compare and contrast - Baldesar Castiglione's Book of the Courtier and Francois Rabelais's Gargantua ...

    5 Accordingly with the idea that women should be charming, all of the activities that Castiglione allows women are subordinated to charm. Therefore, Castiglione writes that women should not play the drums, trumpets, that their dress should not appear frivolous and that, while dancing, they should not make any energetic and violent movements.

  2. Love Relationships: a Comparison Between the Victorian and the Contemporary Couple in A.S Byatt's ...

    We see this when Roland "took possession of all [Maud's] white coolness". The author puts together the Victorian past's omission of sexual discourse with modern speech on sexuality only to undermine them both, since it is not logical to

  1. The two poems which I shall analyse and explore are, "Shall I compare thee ...

    Similarly, like Keats, Shakespeare is using pathetic fallacy. Keats does make a simple comparison, just as Shakespeare compared his lady to the summer; Keats compares his lover to a "faery," as she too seemed flawless. The ballad written by Keats does use some simple imagery also. It has typical ballad features, for example, the use of stanzas.

  2. “Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part” by Michael Drayton, “That ...

    Drayton ends the sonnet by hoping that in time he will be able to love again or rekindle the romance they once had, implying that of their love for one another is meant to be they will be together eventually.

  1. Comparing Brownings methods in

    They are both killed because their partners don't want anyone else to ever have them. They are both attractive women. They are both romantic women, but they are romantic in different ways. The Duchess is flirtatious and smiles and blushes at everyone: "...spot of joy."

  2. Was Janie truly happy at the end of the novel as she killed Tea ...

    "He spoke of far horizon. He spoke for change and chance". Janie had required an agent for escapism from Logan and his whole way of life and Joe Starks was the best opportunity "So they married just like Joe had said.

  1. Shakespeare's Sonnet XVIII

    His lover, however, is untouched by this and his beauty is immortal, the memory of his life will not fade, nor lose the beauty that belongs to it and death will never claim him for his own. As I read this sonnet I found the personification of the Sun (lines 5 and 6)

  2. Compare But You Didnt by Merrill Glass and My Mistress by William Shakespeare

    He did this deliberately because he wanted to stress the word "rare" meaning special, highly valued. He wanted to make clear that he loved his woman very much, which he had to do because the images created of her in the quatrains are not very flattering.

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