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Discuss The Good Morrow and Sonnet 116 stating clearly what each the poem and the sonnet tell the reader about love.

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Introduction

Essay question: Discuss The Good Morrow and Sonnet 116 stating clearly what each the poem and the sonnet tell the reader about love. Sonnet 116 and The Good Morrow by William Shakespeare and John Donne respectively are both pieces of late 1600's poetry, they both manifest love in a different way from the other. One shows love in a mature, mellow kind of way (Sonnet 116); the other in a naive, immature way, (The Good Morrow). The Good Morrow Donne's approach to love is that of a child's mind; Donne once said: Come live with me, And be my love, and we will some new pleasures prove, of golden sands, and crystal brooks, with silken lines, and silver hooks (Courtesy of www.famousquotes.com) I think this shows that Donne looks at life through 'Rose Coloured Lenses', as such, this indicates that Donne thinks that as long as his love is with him everything would be perfect. To achieve completion of this poem Donne answers the questions he asks at the beginning. The questioning in stanza 1 is set in the past, he asks: I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I Did, till we loved? ...read more.

Middle

Lines 5 to 7 of stanza 2 say: Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone ; Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown ; Let us possess one world ; each hath one, and is one. In these lines Donne compares him and his love to separate hemispheres (half worlds) that come together to make a complete world, a whole. Stanza 3 line 1 shows intimacy between the couple, he looks into her eyes and sees himself, she looks to his and sees herself, the second line says that you can see love in someone's face: My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears, And true plain hearts do in the faces rest ; In lines 3 and 4 of stanza 3 Donne asks where him and his love can find a better world where they don't have a cold, sharp north (pole) or a 'declining west'; the sun sets in the west, their love will never die, it will always be hot and bright. Where can we find two better hemispheres Without sharp north, without declining west? In the final three lines Donne explains that as long as their love is equal, love will never fade or die: Whatever dies, was not ...read more.

Conclusion

The final rhyming quatrain is a very power full one: If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved. Shakespeare is actually saying if what I have wrote is wrong, and you can prove it, then I never wrote it and no man has ever loved. This however is impossible and is ironic as you, the reader, have just read it so it has to be true. Both poets tell us about love in their own way, some stronger than the other, But if you read Shakespeare's sonnet he seems to be very sure on his views of love, if this is so, how much of the argument proceeds by means of negation: "let me not," "love is not," "O no," and so on. Perhaps the Shakespeare is less confident than he appears to be. Shakespeare has a tendency, as such, to end his sonnets in this way take sonnet 18 for example, it ends: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this and this gives life to thee. He is saying here that, so long as men can breathe or eyes can see, you will be alive and you will never die. As I said earlier Shakespeare is sure about his views. ...read more.

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