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

How far are John Donne's 'The Flea' and 'The Message', Andrew Marvell's 'To His Coy Mistress' and Shakespeare's sonnets 'XVIII' and 'CXXX' anti-love poems?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How far are John Donne's 'The Flea' and 'The Message', Andrew Marvell's 'To His Coy Mistress' and Shakespeare's sonnets 'XVIII' and 'CXXX' anti-love poems? Each of the poems/sonnets are to an extent anti-love, but each of them is anti different types of love. 'To His Coy Mistress' and 'The Flea' are against 'romantic love' but are definitely for 'physical love'. Each poem is about a man trying to 'woo' a woman who has a social vow not to have sex. In this time period (17th Century) when the poem was written, sex was believed to be a "mingling of their bloods". Therefore, the analogy with this flea is that it has 'mingled their bloods'; and, in a second, one what the woman did not dare to do. On the other hand, a sonnet like 'XVIII' is more anti 'physical love' but a lot more for 'romantic love'. I am going to look at each poem separately and see to what extent they can be seen as being anti-love. 'To His Coy Mistress' is a poem that is anti love in the sense of being against romantic love. Marvell begins his argument syllogistically with an "if" clause: if Marvell and his love had all the time and space in the world, he could take time to woo her. Marvell then moves on to explain (with hyperbole) ...read more.

Middle

Donne argues that by spilling his blood and hers, by killing the flea, she is practically committing murder. Not only that, but by breaking the holy bond of marriage she is committing a sacrilege. However, the flea is finally killed, and the poet is forced to change tactics. He argues that killing the flea was easy, and you say it has not harmed us - yielding to me will be just as easy and painless. The poem borrows a lot of religious imagery, because it helps add 'Godly' authority to the poem. John Donne's 'The Flea' uses inappropriate arguments because Donne says that as the bloods have been mingled in the flea, the woman has already had sex with him (theoretically) then there should be no reason why they should not have sex again. Also, Donne uses inappropriate argument by referring to religion as a basis for his statements. He says that what they are about to do is not only supported by God, and to not do it would be against God's will. The two Shakespeare Sonnets are distinctively different. Sonnet 'XVIII' is distinct from sonnet 'CXXX'. I find that sonnet 'XVIII' is less anti-love because it is more for romantic love, 'Shall I compare thee to a Sommer's Day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate'. Sonnet XVIII is a brilliant and famous sonnet where Shakespeare compares his lover's eternal beauty to the transient beauty of nature. ...read more.

Conclusion

He says in line 13 that he loves the woman and that is rare or extraordinary. Which simply means that he cannot believe that he actually does like another woman that is not beautiful to every extent but she offers something more than just good looks, companionship. The picture of true unconditional love is best presented in William Shakespeare's "Sonnet 130." Though his lover's lips are not full, he yearns for them. Though her cheeks are not rosy, he feels her glow. Her hair is certainly not soft and her breath does not project sweet perfume, but he is still truly captivated. She cannot sing to save her life, yet he loves to hear her voice. When she walks you would not call her graceful but he still cherishes her clumsy strides. This is a poem written by a man that has learned to love with his heart and not his eyes. I think that all the poems/sonnets can to an extent be seen as being anti-love but, none are completely anti-love. To an extent, 'Sonnet XVIII' is not anti love as Shakespeare compares his lover's eternal beauty to the transient beauty of nature. But that does make it anti physical love. However, 'To His Coy Mistress' or 'The Flea' are more anti romantic love as the sole purpose of these poems is to 'woo' a lover into having sex. - 1 - ...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. Compare the attitudes to love presented in the poems 'To His Coy Mistress', by ...

    I think this shows that he thinks of her, treasuring her whenever he says her name. However, in 'To his Coy..' we never learn the woman's name, and neither women get a say in either of the poems. This shows how male-dominated love is, and that there were many sexist

  2. Compare - The Sun Rising by John Donne, To His Coy Mistress by Andrew ...

    In Sonnet (Elizabeth Browning), the tone changes in line 9, 'I love thee with the passion put to use'.

  1. Love Poetry - "To His Coy Mistress" and "Sonnets from the Portuguese (XLIII)"

    He is saying how the speaker's mistress is acting flirtatious, whilst pretending to be modest, and the use of "His" shows us how the mistress almost belongs to the speaker. This can relate to the attitude toward women at the time.

  2. Sonnet CXXX by William Shakespeare and To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell compared.

    The imagery of the poem has iconic symbols of love as well as a semantic field of nature for instance "Sun, Roses, Coral and Nature" these words have been introduced to accentuate the realistic beauty of the dark mysterious women and also by describing her hair as "black wires" might

  1. Compare and contrast the attempts at seduction in To His Coy Mistress and The ...

    the woman deserves "this state" (19), referring to the endless praise which has just been explained, and that, were it possible, the speaker would not "love at lower rate", and so in a perfect world, the speaker would completely devote himself to his mistress.

  2. Pre-20th Century Sonnets - Comparative Analysis

    term that if that no one has ever loved then anything he has ever written was never true. Shakespeare includes negative words which add further certainty to his opinion of love: "I never writ, nor no man ever loved."

  1. First Love' by John Clare, 'Porphyria's Lover' by Robert Browning,My Last Duchess' by Robert ...

    He ordered her death because his anger grew towards her. This type of reaction is similar to that in 'Porphyria's Lover' in both poems violent actions were taken to solve the males' problems. A caesura is used to signify that after this he pauses then changes the topic to avoid alarming his guest too much.

  2. In the following poems: John Donnes The Flea, Andrew Marvells To His Coy Mistress ...

    At first glance it is difficult for the reader to decipher the unusual metaphors and imagery used as it seems to have very little to do with love, but this is the very thing that makes these poems so much more than the surface themes.

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