• 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 ...

    as love may distort. Taste of onion supplies metaphor of kiss, which "will stay". It represents how a relationship develops and changes as the layers are peeled away. This also shows Carol Ann Duffy's strident and confident tone. This image is blunt and to the point and in complete contrast to 'red rose.'

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

    and this concept of love is a lot more obvious and genuine than in "Valentine" which is about the love that develops in a relationship between a man and a woman. In this poem she compares that love to the unpeeling of an onion, which inevitably leads to tears and

  1. Comparing and Contrasting Poetry

    The first five stanzas start with the repeated line; 'Had I known'. I think that this is the longing she wants to have known things would work out this way. Throughout the poem, she states that she has no control over herself.

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

    While both poets were born in Scotland, it's only Lochhead's Scottish heritage that shows through in the poem when she uses terms like "Same Auld Story" and "canny be bothered". One of the most important points to remember when comparing these two poems is that unlike Duffy, Lochhead is not

  1. Love poem comparisons

    Many sonnets written represent different views of love. The sonnet is known as a strong and powerful declaration of love. Browning seems to ignore the typical petrarchan structure of having an octave and a sestet but rather concentrates on the power of her love.

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

    Shakespeare proves that love is made by the person not by higher power or wealth and that love is strong. The course of true love never ran smoothly, love is precious and can be easily destroyed. Another idea could be love is a very complicated and delicate thing and Shakespeare

  1. "Watching Tennis" and "A Subaltern's Love Song"

    This perhaps indicates how the man would love to play sport outside in the sun instead of sitting disabled inside. Heath-Stubbs also includes some half-rhyme, "Sport...Thought." Betjeman also shows us his contrasting views of losing the game to the girl.

  2. Anne Hathaway and Sonnet 130 are Two Love Sonnets, Comment on the Different Approaches ...

    him writing about her in his plays, "...I dreamed he'd written...beneath his writer's hands..." In line 10 Duffy describes how all her senses are used in loving him, this is very powerful and romantic "...by touch, by scent, by taste..."

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