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How do Donne's sonnets differ from Shakespeare's sonnets? In your answer, you should discuss at least two sonnets by Donne and at least one sonnet by Shakespeare.

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Introduction

How do Donne's sonnets differ from Shakespeare's sonnets? In your answer, you should discuss at least two sonnets by Donne and at least one sonnet by Shakespeare. Both William Shakespeare and John Donne wrote sonnets at around the same time as each other. However, both of them wrote very differently yet still deciding to write about philosophical topics. They are different because Shakespeare decides to calm the reader; Donne uses powerful words which make the reader very aware of what they are reading about. "Death be not proud" by Donne is more unnerving to readers than "Shall I compare thee" by Shakespeare. For some people, death is a taboo subject so Donne writes about death in such a way as to give hope to the reader. He suggests that "some have called thee (death) mighty and dreadful". This is a good way of starting his argument because he gives the other sides view and then moves straight on to diminishing that argument. On the other hand, "Shall I compare thee" is a lot more different from "Death be not proud" as Shakespeare's sonnet is about love and beauty which have a calming effect on the reader. ...read more.

Middle

which defies the common belief that everything will soon succumb to time. This suggests that his poem is also very powerful, because it surprises a reader just as Donne's poems also do. However, it could also be argued that Donne's claims are even more audacious than Shakespeare's as he is not just defying time, but also death which includes both time and decay. The majority of people believe that humans cannot escape from time, and that it soon catches up with everyone. Yet Donne still writes that whoever "dost (death) overthrow, die not", which suggests that not only will humans live on, but they will conquer time as well, and instead "Death thou shalt die." This paradox is extremely defiant, as death is the cause of people dying, and instead death will kill itself. In all three sonnets, both Donne and Shakespeare talk to someone or something. However, both of their approaches of how they talk to their subject matter are very unusual. When someone is talking to God, they are usually humble and they feel afraid to talk to God. Donne, on the other hand, talks to God as if he has been brought down to his level. ...read more.

Conclusion

This goes a step further than just hoping that death is not the end, because of his use of definite language, for example "not" and "nor". However, in his other poem Donne is definitely more hopeful than certain. One reason for this is his use of hopeful language, such as "may rise" and "except you". Yet Donne may still be more hopeful than Shakespeare because he is relying on God, who would definitely be more reliable than men. However, Donne still feels the need to reassure God that he "dearly" loves him and that he "would be lov'd faine". This would also suggest Donne's uncertainty because he needs to change the subject slightly to make his argument better. Ultimately, I think that Donne is more effective than Shakespeare in putting his views across. Shakespeare makes the reader feel very calm while Donne brings the reality to the reader while still comforting him/her. This means that Donne also has a purpose to his poems. They both write on philosophical topics but Donne is a lot more straightforward in his poems while Shakespeare is more thoughtful. ?? ?? ?? ?? English coursework ...read more.

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