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Examine the themes of love, time and poetry in Shakespeare's Sonnet XVII and Mary Wroth's Sonnet VII, and assess whether they are still relevant to a modern society.

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Introduction

Examine the themes of love, time and poetry in Shakespeare's Sonnet XVII and Mary Wroth's Sonnet VII, and assess whether they are still relevant to a modern society. The last ten or fifteen years of the sixteenth century was a period of amazing poetic activity: there is nothing like it in the history of our literature. Never in any equal period of our history did so much intellect go to the making of verses. The main form of verse written was the Sonnet- usually an ode to a loved one, and very often, the current Queen, Elizabeth I. The expressions of love in sonnets took several different forms: a poet declaring their love towards a wife, or someone they had been admiring from afar; often to royalty as a form of flattery, hoping to gain from ones poetic ability, and in the case of Shakespeare's Sonnet XVII, written for an unborn child. In this essay, I shall examine the themes of love, time and poetry in Shakespeare's Sonnet XVII and Mary Wroth's Sonnet VII, and assess whether they are still relevant to a modern society. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare seems to have put a lot of passion and feeling into this poem, wanting so much for this youth's beauty to live on, it is almost a plea for him to have a child, so another generation can benefit. Sonnet VII by Mary Wroth, however, is vastly different to the above of Shakespeare. It shows Wroth dealing with the emotion of the death of her husband, and the effect and emotional toll it has on her life. The feeling seems to be completely overpowering the poet, as if taking over her entire life relentlessly. The poet says that no amount of time or space can stop her heart longing for the love that she can no longer have, the pain that she is feeling is unrelentless, it has taken over her entire life, and is unable to do anything whilst it has a hold over her. She describes the thing that is affecting her as a "smart"- something that has wounded her, and yet she doesn't know quite how deeply, as if she is still in a state of transition between the before and after of the event. ...read more.

Conclusion

It seems to me that the loss of the speaker's Love signals the end of anything she has left to live for, and that everything is now pointing toward her own life ending, as she feels that she now has nothing to live for. I believe that any poem about love is timeless, as the experiences and emotions that are felt by us in the modern day, were felt by those in Elizabethan times, in Roman times, and will be felt by generations to come. The feelings never change, and therefore, neither do the expressions of it. Overall, love itself has never differed, and so, anything that once related to it, will still do so now. Wroth's view of time was a very negative one, feeling that time could not heal her wounds, but Shakespeare felt that time was necessary for life and love to carry on as before. I think a view of time is a very personal one, and is up to an individual. Some people recover from tragedy a lot quicker than others, and every person is different in that respect. ...read more.

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