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Compare the two poems First Love and Shall I compare Thee to a Summers day

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Introduction

Poetry Comparison "First Love" and "Shall I compare thee to a Summers day" are two poems written before the 1900's by John Clare and William Shakespeare. The poems share similar language and imagery mainly about love but vary in structure. The poems allow the reader to see Clare's experience as he has lost his heart and Shakespeare's emphasis that his love's beauty is immortal. The two poems both comprise of love and physical relationships and are both written in the first person to portray a personal view intended for the reader to see the effects of being in love and how you see a person differently when you are in love. The poem by Clare is a love lyric written in the first person about a woman in contrast to Shakespeare's which is written also in the first person but addresses his love where she is apostrophised. ...read more.

Middle

these rhetorical questions not only keep the reader thinking but show the writers intent and their own opinions on the forthcoming feelings and actions. The paradoxes in lines 17 and 18 suggest Clare seems to extend the involvement of the reader in that we have to think further beyond the answer of a rhetorical question to the actual correction and analysis of the paradox. Clare's poem is longer containing more discursive language and uses simple repetitions such as "pale as deadly pale" to suggest confusion and the idea of death through love causing death-like symptoms. These symptoms are again reinforced in the next line as Clare continues with the idea that the power of love is disabling him "My legs refused". The romantic imagery used by both poets is intensified in Shakespeare's as he uses the seasons for his central image to enlighten the reader through the "darling buds of Maie". ...read more.

Conclusion

In comparison to Shakespeare's sonnet Clare's lyric poem is much less specific and much more physical. This is demonstrated in the first stanza where Clare describes physical symptoms and shows how the power of love is destructive. The second stanza shows the emotional aspect on being in love and how it can affect the senses and feelings of a person. The third stanza shows the reaction to his love and how he then accepts that he has fallen fully in love. The two poems share the similar intent about romantic love but use different methods in order to show their view. Shakespeare's sonnet is effective in captivating the reader and exploring the likeness of his love to a summer's day whereas Clare manages to be more open and less restricted in his writing and still intrigue the reader. I find Shakespeare's sonnet to be well-structured and balanced in his descriptions and comparisons which create a more intelligent and favourable sonnet to Clare's lyric. ?? ?? ?? ?? Dipesh Patel LVP English ...read more.

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