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Compare the way in which these poets convey their attitudes to love and relationships. How is this affected by the era in which they lived?

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Introduction

Poetry Coursework Compare the way in which these poets convey their attitudes to love and relationships. How is this affected by the era in which they lived? The two poems I am comparing are 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell. Coy can be translated into modern language as Shy. The whole poem is persuasive and is trying to get the lady to sleep with him, but because she is shy she wont. Marvell lived in the 17th century from 1621-1678. The poem in contrast is 'Sonnet 116' by William Shakespeare who also wrote this poem in the 17th century and he lived from 1564-1616. This poem is about the strength of love. Marvell was a metaphysical poet, which means he used extensive metaphors throughout his poems, as if he is playing with language. On the other hand Shakespeare wrote in sonnets and has a more sincere approach to writing. The poems are both similar in 'meaning' because love I the base of these two poems. I will be exploring the meaning, which is most difficult to find without deep thought. ...read more.

Middle

The imagery used here is very powerful and provokes sickening sights in our mind. Marvell writes her 'quaint honour turns to dust' which means her cute or silly morals of staying virgin, will disappear when she dies. As she dies all his lust for her will go and turn to dust, he says she should lose her virginity to him in a bed rather than the worms in her grave. Shakespeare then again writes complete opposite to Marvell. He says it isn't love if something changes and the love changes, or if something is removed the love is removed. Shakespeare says love is 'an ever-fixed mark' meaning it is always present and in 'tempests' or storms of trouble and problems it is 'never shaken' and nothing phases it. No, Shakespeare says love is the hope and guidance for every lost ship. We can portray the ship as a soul, love will get them through all their problems and troubles. Ships were the only form of transport between countries. Many people died at sea and their only motivation to work hard and see it through was love. ...read more.

Conclusion

With more urgency he says they should 'devour' the time they have. They must eat hungrily their opportunities 'like amorous birds of prey'. We get imagery of large vicious birds in partnership ripping up their time and pleasure with 'rough strife'. Meaning they must be very fast and strong to make use of the time they have. Marvell is writing very aggressively. Shakespeare is again writing in complete opposite to Marvell, he says love does not change 'in brief hours or weeks'. Love 'bears it out even to the edge of doom' meaning love lat beyond people's lifetimes, to the ends of eternity. Shakespeare then ends and concludes his poem with a rhyming couplet. If Shakespeare's thoughts about love are false, then he says he has never written anything, therefore he cannot be wrong. Marvell then writes that they are going to be so fast that the sun will have to catch up, we see the couple hand in hand with a huge burning ball chasing them. Shakespeare is basically saying love is more powerful than time and Marvell the exact opposite. Matthew Harrison 10BY 1 ...read more.

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