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Compare how the theme of love is presented in Shakespeare's sonnets and any other poem of your choice from those studied.

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Pre 20th Century Love Poetry Compare how the theme of love is presented in Shakespeare's sonnets and any other poem of your choice from those studied. Love poetry has been written for many centuries. The ideas expressed by Shakespeare and Browning are still relevant today. Love is not a tangible thing; it is an emotion so it can be perceived in many different ways. Shakespeare has infamously used sonnets to express his ideas on love. 'Shall I compare thee...?' is a sonnet in which Shakespeare focuses on immortalisation through words. 'Let me not' is another sonnet written by Shakespeare in which he expresses his views and the theme of the strength of love. I choose Robert Browning's, Porpyria's lover to compare to the above poems. As it is a dramatic monologue, which provides an insight into another existing love. The love conveyed in Porphyria's lover is obsessive love. This provides are sharp contrast to the above sonnets. Let me not is written in third person, which gives it an authoritive tone in this case. The authoritive tone adds to the theme of the strength of love. This theme is expressed within this poem in a rather exaggerated manner. ...read more.


And the rest of the sonnet is the answer. Shakespeare describes the summer as a subordinate to his beloved. He complains summer- the best season for sometimes being too hot or too windy and too short 'And Sommers lease hath all too short a date'. Shakespeare believes his lover will outlast the summer 'By thy eternall Sommer shall not fade' Shakespeare is describing his lover as everlasting, which as I mentioned before is one of the themes of love expressed in Let me not. We are progressively being introduced to a problem throughout the poem. The problem is, how is this girl going to outlive death ' Nor shall death brag thou wandr'st in his shade.' The solution is in the rhyming couplet. Shakespeare has immortalised the girl's beauty within the words of the poem. She won't literally avoid death but she will verbally last forever. The poem is what gives life to the lover forever because the poem is what is going to last forever. A sharp contrast to this poem would be Porphyria's lover. Here the lover also attempts to immortalise his beloved although not in the same romantic way. ...read more.


The lover is no glad because he got what he wanted 'so glad it has it's utmost will that all that scorned at once has led' and I it's love am gained instead' Here the lover refers to Porphyria as 'it'. The lover thinks he has gained all he could out of the situation and is surprisingly happy. Also he thinks God has sanctioned his actions! 'And all night we have not stirred And yet God has not said a word' Out of the three poems I have compared, I feel shall I compare thee expresses love in the most appealing, way as it probably had the best inspiration. It combines the element of immortalisation from Porphyria's lover and the trueness of let me not -in the correct manner to achieve full effect. The hyperbole in let me not makes us understand that poems message very seriously, as Shakespeare probably wanted us to do, but it doesn't show us how love could actually make us feel as 'Shall I compare thee' does The shock in Porphyria's lover makes that poem less appealing thus less successful in making the reader enjoy it. Plus it doesn't express a true love, which everyone wants to experience. Saher Ali Candidate no.9031 Centre no.51433 ...read more.

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