• 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

    The first two lines "Hither with christall vyals, lovers come, and take my teares, which are loves wine" are continuing the metaphor of him being the stone fountain.

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

    receive as it compares me to something, which is almost unbelievable, unlike Shakespeare. Unlike the Shakespearian octet and sestet, this sonnet has three parts. The first six lines show how far her love goes, the next two lines tells us the way she loves him and the six lines tell us with what she loves him.

  1. 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.

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

    since both her and Donne are joined as one in this flea. He uses a hyperbole, the deliberate exaggeration of saying this would be a murder, thus creates effect. He uses emotional blackmail and accusatory towards his mistress. However, the argument is turned around, when she retorts that neither of

  1. Love and Loss

    Is love's bed always snow?" This tells the reader that the experience of first love was unpleasant and cold. These lines are metaphors of cold. He wanted the girl to know of his existence of love for her. Love is supposed to be warm, joyful and tranquil but the man

  2. 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.

  1. Write a comparative analysis of 'Shall I compare thee...' by William Shakespeare and 'The ...

    The poet thinks she is perfect, unlike a summer's day. He says that the summer's day is "sometime to hot" and has "rough windes", but she is "more lovely". He uses personification in the line, "And often is his gold complexion dim'd".

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

    In the last quatrain he is wondering why she doesn't tell him that he is too old, 'But wherefore say not that I am old?' He probably would not mind if she just went ahead and told him, but she might be afraid of the consequences.

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