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Comparing To his Coy Mistress and Sonnet 130

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast Two Love Poems: 'To His Coy Mistress' Andrew Marvell and 'Sonnet 130' William Shakespeare Sonnet 130 is a love poem in sonnet form by William Shakespeare that controversially goes against the standard love clich�s of a traditional love poem by describing his love honestly and very realistically. The tone of the poem appears negative but in fact he is actually showing his realisation that love has imperfections but his love is enough to overcome any of them and the beauty of love is a fake sugar-coating of physical beauty. His love is expressed as the love that what lies beneath; the innermost feelings of each person. The poem (though controversial in its context) is traditionally structured in sonnet form with fourteen lines and ten syllables per line. The ABAB rhyming structure is carried out throughout the poem until the last two lines which are rhyming couplets. This typical structure, along with the obvious iambic pentameter, creates an easy-flowing read with a pleasant rhythm. At first glance, the context appears to be very insulting and even the very title - 'my mistress's eyes are nothing like the sun' - imply an offence. Unlike the majority of the love poems of the period where the poets' lovers were all described as goddesses that glide and having beautiful golden hair, Shakespeare describes his love as having 'black wires grow on her head' and specifically mentions that 'he never saw a goddess go' and 'when she walks, treads on the ground'. ...read more.

Middle

also sets out to be controversial. His Coy Mistress is a persuasive poem in which a controlling and dominating Marvell attempts to convince his mistress to sleep with him. Unlike Shakespeare's sonnet where language rather than structure (this remains in traditional sonnet form) is used to emphasis a point in the case of Marvell's poem it is the other way round. Structure is very important in his poem. There are no stanzas but there are three very clear sections. Each section endeavours to persuade 'his Mistress' using different manners and methods. Marvell also uses time in his quest of persuasion. The poem's rhythm, stressing every other syllable, primarily creates the convincing sense of urgency but actually, each section portrays time in a different manner, enforcing his argument even more. In fact, the rhythm is the same as Shakespeare's sonnet but each poet has used the rhythm to convey different atmospheres. The first section of the poem describes ideal time. Marvell appears to have unconditional love for his mistress and uses exaggerated times to express his love: 'thirty thousand to the rest [of her body parts]'. He says he will love her 'till the conversion of the Jews' even if she refuses. This line suggests his undying love for her as 'the conversion' will never happen. Marvell's first argument uses flattery. In contrast to Shakespeare's sonnet where honest but unflattering descriptions are used, Marvell exaggerates his mistress's beauty in his attempt to sweet-talk her - for example by describing ...read more.

Conclusion

They are not in sonnet form which could support the argument that he is mocking the traditional sonnet as well or that he feels the need to expel any doubts (which the reader may have!) that he genuinely loves this woman. In each poem, the language is quite coarse and extreme but both use that effect in illustrating positive images of their love. For example, Shakespeare describes his mistress as the complete opposite of a goddess with breath that 'reeks' and Marvell describes his mistress' death but somehow, though the poets' language throughout the poems is similar to this, the overall message depicted is good and not negative. Marvell and Shakespeare's poems are both successful in what they aimed to achieve - convincing their mistresses of their love in innovative manners. Both use their poems to escape conventional thinking; Shakespeare escapes the use of exaggerated and goddess-like depictions of women in love poems; while Marvell escapes the thinking that sex before marriage is a bad thing. Though both poems are centred on love, Shakespeare's is more emotional whereas Marvell's is more physical and sexual though both of them describe their love as being 'rare' as quoted by Shakespeare and similarly, Marvell's unique 'vegetable' love. Both poems make enjoyable reading because of their irony and the challenge they make to conventional thinking of the time though Sonnet 130 probably more so because of the more humorous side Shakespeare brings to it. ?? ?? ?? ?? GCSE English Coursework Love Poems Chimwemwe Ngoma Word Count : 1 060 Mr Vickery 10B ...read more.

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