• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Shakespeare and Duffy approach the theme of love?

Extracts from this document...


How does Shakespeare and Duffy approach the theme of love? Shakespeare is a 16th century poet and compared to Duffy a 20th century poet their approach to love is both similar and different. They each write about love in a different way and use some of the same images of love. The two Shakespearean sonnets deal with love in very contrasting ways. Sonnet 18 follows the traditional methods of using exaggerated comparisons. He compares the object of his love to a 'summer's day' which makes us think of warmth, happiness- a perfect day, to suggest that she is the perfect lady. However he says that she is more 'lovely' and 'temperate' which in a way flatters her. He approaches love in a fantasy way and suggests that their relationship as though it is, is the most wonderful thing in the world. She is only being compared to the best things in life, things like 'summer' and 'heaven', but her summer 'shall not fade'. ...read more.


Sonnet 18 may have been written just to please his love, whereas sonnet 130 is more believable and sincere because it is honest. The last two lines of sonnet 130 round because it is clear that he really does love her, describing her as 'rare'. He suggests that to compare in an exaggerated way, as in sonnet 18 would be false. I think that sonnet 130 suggests, that he really knows the woman. He does not flatter her; he knows that she knows he loves her for her inner self, not for her outer appearance. Shakespeare's approach to love in this sonnet is more real and truth than his sonnet 18. In Valentine, Duffy does not use the normal modern expressions of love, 'a red rose', or 'satin heart', or a 'cute card' or 'kissogram'. She compares love to an onion. Although the romantic word 'moon' is mentioned, it refers to the shape of the rings you see if an onion is sliced open. ...read more.


She is not sure what she wants, is it 'pleasurable' or 'sad'. The 'dark hills' are the barriers, which are preventing her from being with the person her loves. This could be because they are physically a long way apart or, have little in common mentally or emotionally. This poem 'Words, Wide Night' is ' an impossible song of desire that you cannot here', suggesting that their love will never come to anything as her 'lover' if he exists, will never understand her, or even read this poem. This is different to the end of Shakespeare's sonnet18, where the poem was written to keep the lover alive forever. Duffy and Shakespeare approach love in similar ways both mentioning things such as the moon although each in a different context. Duffy gives an impression through both her poems that love is too hard to be described and really isn't just wonderful, basically telling the truth as Shakespeare did in sonnet 130. However he didn't tell the truth in sonnet 18 although it is a very flattering poem. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Love Poetry essays

  1. Love is a very common theme in poetry. By closely examining the ways in ...

    The comparison is also richer than this: through the metaphor, Love promises both the 'romantic' idealisations promised by the conventional poems but also it exists here in a 'realistic', domestic, everyday context; it is both banal and intense. The onion is an extended metaphor.

  2. Carol Ann Duffy - 'Valentine' and 'Before You Were Mine'

    However in 'Valentine' Carol Ann Duffy uses the imagery of an onion to conjure up pictures of suffering and pain which she links to the process of cynical love which inevitably leads to heartbreak.

  1. How does Shakespeare use love to create drama and interest in 'A Midsummer Night's ...

    To finish, thanks to the fairy intervention, all in Shakespeare's play are happy and finally content with their partner: '"Come my queen, take hand with me, And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be."' Without magic's existence in the play, A Midsummer's Night Dream would have been a nightmare.

  2. Carol Ann Duffy, (born 1958) tackles the issue of love in her poem "Valentine," ...

    Duffy associates love with sadness and grief, "it will blind you with tears." Throughout the poem Duffy continually infers that love is a not a strong power and will only cause misery and despair in the lives of those who experience it.

  1. I am going to compare three different poems: "My Box" by Gillian Clarke, "Valentine" ...

    "Valentine" a contemporary poem written by Carol Ann Duffy, is a poem using an extended metaphor about a gift of an onion to her lover. The poem opens with the negative line, 'Not a red rose or a satin heart.

  2. Comparing and Contrasting Poetry

    The love in the poems is different. Two are for mothers and on is for the loss of a partner. All the poets have lost their loved ones through death. Here we realise that all the poets have different views of death and how they accept it.

  1. By close study of Valentine and I Wouldnt Thank You for a Valentine, show ...

    Moonlight often provides a romantic setting, so Duffy could have been using this metaphor to represent love. Duffy uses this metaphor in a way that says love isn't always what you expect when you take away the outside layers, and get to know the person's personality a little better, once you peel away the layers.

  2. Love poem comparisons

    Line six uses imagery to communicate her meaning of love, 'Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight'. This line uses the word 'sun' to represent brightness and happiness, and uses the word 'candlelight' to represent romance and the night. She loves him all hours of the day.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work