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In What ways are Edna St. Vincent Millay and Elizabeth Barrett Browning similar in their attitudes to Love and men?

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Introduction

In What ways are Edna St. Vincent Millay and Elizabeth Barrett Browning similar in their attitudes to Love and men? A sonnet is a poem that always has fourteen lines. There are two types of sonnet; the Pertrachan and the Shakespearean. "What lips my lips have kissed", is a Petrarchan by Edna St Vincent Millay. This means that it is made up of either a sestet and an octet or an octet and a sestet. In this case it is an octet and a sestet. "Pity me not" also by Edna St Vincent Millay is a Shakespearean sonnet, this means that it is made up of three quatrains and one couplet at the end. "How do I love thee?" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is a Petrarchan and is made up of sestet and an octet. All of these three sonnets have been written in different ways but are all equally meaningful. Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine on February 22nd 1892. Her mother, Cora encouraged Edna St Vincent Millay and her three sisters to be ambitious and self-sufficient, teaching them an appreciation of music and literature from an early age. Edna St. Vincent Millay began to write poetry from a young age, and became very involved with theatre. Edna St Vincent Millay was a feminist, which was reflected in her poetry. ...read more.

Middle

the birds have left her. "Thus the winter stands the lonely tree, nor knows its boughs more silent than before: I cannot say what loves have come and gone; I only know that summer sang in me". Poets and sonneteers use the seasons a lot to represent emotions, For example, spring represents youth, summer is the middle of your life when you encounter the best experiences and Autumn is the decline to old age, i.e. winter in which things start to become bad, and Winter is your all time low old age and death. Elizabeth Barrett Browning does not however use these images in "How do I love thee?", she sticks to the images of religion and G-d, "With my lost saints, - and in G-d choose, I shall but love thee better after death. " This emphasises purity and faith to her love. "Pity me not", tells the reader not to pity her or to feel sorry for her because the sky gets dark at night, "Pity me not because the light of day at close of day no longer walks the sky". Not to feel sorry for her because the seasons change and the world goes on, "Pity me not for beauties passed away from field and thicket as the year goes by". Not to pity her because he fell out of love with her "Nor that a man's desire is hushed so soon". ...read more.

Conclusion

Elizabeth ends her sonnet with the quote," I shall love thee better after death", which gives the reader an impression that her love grows stronger with age and that nothing can ever separate them, not even death. All three sonnets use lots of rhetorical devices. Both Edna and Elizabeth use repletion "Pity me not..., Pity me not..." and the rule of three is shown in "I love thee". These make the phrase stick in your head and enhance their ideas and the depth of Elizabeth's love. The sonnets "What lips my lips have Kissed" and " How do I love thee", both begin with the rhyme A, B, B, A. This gives the sonnet a musical feel. The tone of "How do I love thee?" is one of adoration. She is almost singing to him because she has a religious feeling towards him. The poem is very mysterious because we don't have any idea of what "he" looks like or acts like so he remains in our imagination. Perhaps Elizabeth Barrett Browning could have done this so that her love remained a secret from her father. All three of the sonnets are a personal interpretation of love and lust. What ever you believe in, whether it is love at first sight, real love or lust, the three sonnets I have chosen express personal views of what Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Edna St Vincent Millay believe is the real truth behind love. - 1 - ...read more.

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