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Comparing First Love and Shall I compare thee?

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Introduction

Essay- Comparing First Love and Shall I compare thee...? Shall I Compare Thee is a sonnet written by William Shakespeare, that compares a mystery person to summer, describing them as "lovely", and "more temperate" than a summers day. At no point in the poem are we given a clue as to whether the person being described in the poem is male or female, or any other description as to their appearance or form. He says that their beauty will live on forever, as his poem gives life to them "So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, so long lives this, and this gives life to thee." The 'this' he refers to is his poem. First Love is a love poem written by John Clare, it is describing someone's lover; however the language would suggest that unlike Shall I Compare Thee, the lover in First Love does not yet know the person he is talking about. There is not really a relationship between him and the woman he stares at, which is given through impression that it was love at first sight. ...read more.

Middle

On the other hand in First Love the lover's life is suddenly turned to clay, this suggests it is all of a sudden, hard and life is all at a standstill. The poets love interest is unintentionally in control, and in the first stanza his body has been completely taken over by the first sight of her "And when she looked, what could I ail? My life and all seemed turned to clay." This image of clay again portrays the poet unable to move, frozen by love. Shall I Compare Thee is a sonnet, consisting of four stanzas, each of three quatrains and a final couplet composed in iambic pentameter with the rhyme scheme, ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Unlike this, First Love consists of three stanzas and comprises of a rhyme scheme of ABAB CDCD. First Love is a lyrical poem; this means that rather than portraying characters and actions, it addresses the reader directly. This means it clearly portrays the narrators own feelings, states of mind and perceptions. ...read more.

Conclusion

The poem is successful in conveying his emotions and making the reader empathise. Also in First Love, the author uses simple wording and imagery to create a truly unhappy scene. For example "my life and all turned to clay" is an illustration of his life stopping because he cannot talk to his desired girl. An image like "my heart has left its dwelling place" represents his feeling of 'losing his heart' to this women. This is rather different to Shall I Compare Thee, where the poet does not give a sense of unexpectedly falling in love, but instead gives the impression that the narrator has studied his love. Therefore instead of going on immediate reactions, has thought thoroughly about what he wants to say. Shall I Compare Thee is a poem that is, again trying to convey the narrators feelings towards someone, but is done very differently. The lover is simply praising his love and their beauty, rather than trying to tell a story. ?? ?? ?? ?? James Sweetman 11RR07 ...read more.

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