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Compare and contrast the two sonnets "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" and "Sonnet 130".

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the two sonnets "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" and "Sonnet 130" This essay is based on two sonnets, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" and "Sonnet 130", both of which are written by William Shakespeare. Although the poems are different to each other, they both come across as having the same meaning. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" is a traditional, romantic love poem of the seventeenth century. The purpose behind the poem is to flatter women. In the poem, Shakespeare compares his love to a summer's day. The way he does this is by highlighting all the negative points about summer and saying that she is much better. He beguiles her into thinking that in comparison to a day of summer she is much more extravagant. On the other hand "Sonnet 130" contradicts this poem. In "Sonnet 130" Shakespeare mentions all the bad points about his mistress in comparison with the small beauties in the world. This may sound as though he is unromantic towards his mistress, but he says that despite his mistress not being perfect, he still loves her as she is 'rare'. In this poem he is very critical towards other sonnets, for being over exaggerated and unrealistic to flatter women, as he feels it doesn't do women any justice. The irony about this is that, "Shall I compare thee..." is written by Shakespeare in a traditional form as well as "Sonnet 130"but this is written to exploit poets, who misguide women into believing they are love goddesses, but "Shall I compare thee..." ...read more.

Middle

It may be said that Shakespeare wrote this poem to his love at the time, or he may have wrote it through the perspective of another man writing to his love that is either alive or dead. Although both the sonnets appear to be different, they do have many similarities. Firstly, both of the poems carry the same purpose; to flatter women, but the techniques they use to do this, are different. In '' Shall I compare thee'' Shakespeare uses the downsides to summer, to contrast his love with. Whereas in ''Sonnet 130'' he uses the good qualities of materialistic things and compares them to his mistress, to show that even though she doesn't have a perfect exterior, he says she is original and special to him. The structures of the sonnets also have a great similarity. An example of this is that the concluding lines of both the sonnets carry an important meaning and message to convey to the reader. The finishing lines summarise the importance of the poem, for example in "Shall I" the ending verses emphasize the fact that, as long as the poem exists so does the lady that the poem is talking about. In "Sonnet 130" the ending lines justify why the poet is speaking negatively of his mistress, it is so that the poet can explain that his love does not have to be beautiful to be loved. Another similarity that the poems contain, are the inclusion of things like nature and colours, to build a creative image inside the reader's mind. ...read more.

Conclusion

However 'Sonnet 130' uses a wider range as it uses the senses; seeing, smelling and hearing, 'music hath a far more pleasing sound'. Out of the two poems I most enjoyed "Sonnet 130". This is because I found 'Shall I...' to be typically romantic and quite old fashioned, as I thought it was over exaggerated and too serious. However, I found "Sonnet 130" to be extremely enjoyable. This is because it was very humorous and sarcastic and I though it was quite a unique love poem compared to others that I have studied. I think that it would really appeal to a young, modern female audience due to its criticism of poets' stereotyped image of women. Along with being humorous it is also very romantic as it basically sends the message that no matter how a person looks on the outside it is what they are like on the inside that makes them special. It also shows that being unique does not mean that you have to be beautiful it's just your inner qualities that make you beautiful; these sorts of messages that are sent through the poem are very romantic. "Shall I..." is a poem that sort of indoctrinates women, into thinking that they are better than natural beauties, but it is well known that this is being quite untrue. It is being unfaithful to women by making all these false promises. Both of the poems are very effective in different ways due to the literal devices that are used by Shakespeare. These two sonnets are a perfect example of Shakespeare's versatility in writing love poems but with totally different approaches. ?? ?? ?? ?? Siddiqa Jeebhai 11JR ...read more.

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