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Compare and Contrast 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell and 'Sonnet 116' by William Shakespeare.

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell and 'Sonnet 116' by William Shakespeare. In this assignment I will compare and contrast two poems To His Coy Mistress written by Andrew Marvell in 1650 and Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare written in 1590. Both on the theme of love and time and both written to be sent to an unknown recipient. Neither of these two poems were intended to be published. The first major difference between the two poems would be that the structure is noticeably different. Marvell attempts syllogism by dividing his poem into a three-part argument. However, experts say Marvell has not succeeded in this technique. Stanza one talks about how if they had all the time in the world they would be able to take their time and not have to rush to be together. Part two of the poem is written to shock and remind the recipient that one day she will die and then it will be too late. The third and final stanza is written to encourage her to be active and agree with what she is saying. ...read more.

Middle

As there is a distinct change between stanzas in Andrew Marvell's poem, William Shakespeare's tone is one of consistence. It is also shown that Shakespeare believes strongly in this issue as he does not change his mind about love and keeps to a confident, positive tone throughout. Another similarity between both poems is that each poet uses vivid, clear and effective imagery that the Edwardian audience would have been familiar with. Andrew Marvell uses unconventional imagery which is appropriate to the purpose of each section. In stanza one, where the tone is one of relaxation, Marvell compares his love to a slow growing vegetable. "My vegetable love should grow vaster than empires and more slow" Here Marvell is comparing his love to a vegetable, something which is small and slow growing, yet still waiting to be picked; to an empire which is something pictured to be vast and amazing yet also takes a long time to be built up. This works well as you would not usually expect something as special as love to be compared to an everyday object such as a vegetable. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is an ever- fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark" An ever-fixed mark could refer to several things. Such as a lighthouse that used to guide the lost ships. It could also refer to the pole star. This is also something the audience could relate to as shipping was one of the ways of transport in those days. Stars were also used for navigation at sea this was known as celestial navigation. The star or lighthouse to a lost ship would be a fixed mark which can be relied upon for guidance. In comparison to love, Shakespeare is saying love is something that you can always rely on to guide you back. In conclusion there are a number of similarities and differences between the two poems although they were written sixty years apart by completely different poets. Despite this Marvell and Shakespeare proceed to use the same theme and express their view using effective imagery linked to the subject matter. An obvious difference would be that one poet writes to a close form were there are restrictions to the way the poem is written. However Marvell writes to an open form were there are no restrictions to the way the poet has to write. ...read more.

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