• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparing Shakespeare and his sonnet, 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day', The well known poet and songwriter of the Jacobean age John Donne and his poem 'The Flea', and the well known American poet Walt Whitman and his poem 'To a Stranger'.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Love is a theme which seems to be unescapable. It is in everyday life and it affects everyone. Love has been a topic of much of the great literature which we keep in high esteem. Thus it is an ideal theme to do as the three poems being analysed are pieces of great literature, mainly from the cannon of literature. In this lecture the poets being analysed are the immoral poet and play writer of the Elizabethan age, Shakespeare and his sonnet, 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day', The well known poet and songwriter of the Jacobean age John Donne and his poem 'The Flea', and the well known American poet Walt Whitman and his poem 'To a Stranger'. 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day' was one of William Shakespeare's most famous sonnets. It was written in the Elizabethan Age which was from 1588 - 1603. In the Elizabethan age it was customary for gentleman to write love sonnets about their lover and give it to them. As William Shakespeare was a brilliant poet and play writer of that age he was thought of to be the ideal English Renaissance man and was thought of very highly by nobles of the land. Shakespeare's upbringing was irregular to that of someone else in his position. ...read more.

Middle

Donne was however able to write the poem 'The flea' which is a slightly happier poem about a woman he loves. 'The flea' describes a tiny blood withdrawing mite which happens to have sucked a droplet of the Donne's and his mistress's blood. Ironically he uses the ugliest, most reviled pest to associate with a pure, probably coy mistress in his attempt to finish his courtship of her. Nevertheless, he manages well. In verse one, the writer enthuses about the 'how little' the thing she is denying him is. He slowly begins to build up his argument by saying that being bitten is not a 'sin'. He talks about how the flea differs in its approach to her. The flea just jumps up and bites her, while he is painstakingly putting his every effort into wooing her like a gentleman. Donne almost sounds deprived here. In verse two he begs her not to kill the flea, as it is the symbol of their love, and the only place where they are married is in 'these living walls of Jet.' He says that although many things are against them, she must not kill it as that would be killing him and it would be 'sacrilege,' as it is their 'marriage temple'. If it dies all hope of them dies In verse three, she kills the flea, cruel and suddenly. ...read more.

Conclusion

This theme is not typical of this era in time as not many poets wrote about love. This poem is similar to the other two poems discussed earlier in that its theme is love and it discusses the poets love for an individual however in this poem the idea that love should not be displayed openly is portrayed by this poet. Shakespeare was a openly passionate poet and most of his works were on love. His attitude towards love was that your feelings towards someone should be shared and that everyone should experience love. Unlike Shakespeare John Donne was not as openly passionate writer of love songs although he did write many love songs. He chose to be intellectual when discussing this topic as was the common thing to do of his time. Walt Whitman however, was not an open love poetry writer at all as it was against the stereotype man image of his time and many of his poems were about war. His feelings towards love were that it was between a man and a woman and that it should not be openly published. Although the three poets all wrote love poems their views on how the poems should be written were different mainly due to the era they lived in, however this difference did not topple the fact that they are all great poets. Joshua Van Egmond Ms. Clifford 12W2 Assignment ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Love Poetry essays

  1. 'Twickenham Garden' by John Donne is a meta-physical poem

    So he cannot feel the pain this relationship (or lack of one) gives to him. The Final Stanza Is about Donne feeling aggrieved about his rejection by this lady and so he makes certain sexist statements. This shows he is angered at the opposite sex because he was rejected.

  2. Compare "Shall I Compare Thee To a Summer's Day?" (poem 1) by William Shakespeare ...

    The comparison with the summer is very effective as the poet says that the summer doesn't last as long as his love: "eternal lines" might also mean lines of poetry which people will read for years and this will allow his love to grow.

  1. "The Flea", a witty poem of seduction and conceit, taken from John Donne's "Songs ...

    them are worse off in this act, to which he proceeds a mock concession, pretending to give into her point. The final few lines of the final stanza show a reversal. Donne agrees with his mistress' argument, he can see how she would be right when she claims that killing a flea is so unimportant.

  2. These poems portray love in different ways, discuss - Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare ...

    "I love thee freely, as men strive for right;" She expresses her love very strongly by going into her heart deeply, she indicates that if there's no love then there is no life, she compares love to life. This is a very romantic poem, which I would be delighted to

  1. The two poems which I shall analyse and explore are, "Shall I compare thee ...

    "Sonnet 18" is about wishing to flatter and compliment a woman who I believe was exceedingly special to Shakespeare, and throughout it, Shakespeare describes a love which is true, constant, and does not fade. We are never told, however, if this is based on his own experiences, so it can therefore be left to the reader's decision.

  2. shakespeares sonnets

    nature to have his love: "I grant I never saw a goddess go // My mistress when she walks treads on the ground". This shows that Shakespeare is saying that how can other poets say that their lover's are more beautiful than goddesses if they have never seen one.

  1. William Shakespeare's 'Sonnet 138' - Comparing love in two poems.

    He then goes on to, in a way, disagree with himself, because he thinks 'age in love loves not to have years told' he is saying love does not like to hear about the age difference. The rhyming couplet at the end sums up the poem, 'Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,' can mean two things.

  2. The poem Go and catch a falling star is written by the humorous poet ...

    He uses hyperbole throughout the stanza in ?Ride ten thousand days and nights? and ?Till Age snow white hairs on thee?. The exaggerations create a cohesive effect implying that man may spend uncountable number of days on an expedition to find a ?faithful? woman; but even if his hair turns

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work