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Look again at 'first Love' by John Clare. Compare this poem with one other poem from the Pre 1900 section which presents a mans love for a woman in a very different light. You should look closely at the language used.

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Introduction

Look again at 'first Love' by John Clare. Compare this poem with one other poem from the Pre 1900 section which presents a mans love for a woman in a very different light. You should look closely at the language used. I have chosen to compare 'Shall I compare thee...?' by William Shakespeare to 'First Love' by John Clare, because they display contrasting views on the theme of love. 'Shall I compare thee...?' is a representation of love poetry in the Elizabethan times and shows the difference in the style of love poetry in the time periods these poems were written. The main contracts between the two poems are the ideas about love that the two poems put forth. 'Shall I compare thee...?' portrays a very romantic idea of love, and talks about how eternal and everlasting it is. It is a celebration of love, and how wonderful it is. However 'First Love' conveys the opposite idea of love; that it fades and does not last. ...read more.

Middle

He makes his lover seem innocent and beautiful. Clare also uses personification in 'First Love.' "And stole my heart away complete. My face turned pale as deadly pale, my legs refused to walk away." This shows the depth of the feeling he has for her. In the second quatrain Clare describes how he can see nothing but her, which emphasises the strength of his feelings. "And blood burnt round my heart." He uses alliteration, and the strength of the word "blood" shows that he has never felt like this before and believes he is deeply in love with her. In the third quatrain he uses rhetorical questions such as "Is loves bed always snow?" which are very resentful of the way he is feeling and makes the reader think. The last two lines of the 'First Love' use personification again to show that he feels strongly for her, and will never love anyone else. The first line of 'Shall I compare thee...?' stars the poem by talking about the first idea the sonnet, which is the comparison between a woman and a "summers day". ...read more.

Conclusion

The first line of 'First Love' 'Shall I compare thee...?' is a sonnet with four quatrains. A rhyming couplet and a rhyme scheme of ABABCDCDEFEFGG. This structure seems quite typical to this poet, and the time period in which is written. Like 'Shall I compare thee...?' Shakespeare wrote many other poems during the 16th century that are in sonnet form such as 'Let Me Not.' 'Shall I compare thee...?' uses each quatrain to put forth an idea and expand upon it, and then sum up the ideas in the poem within a rhyming couplet. 'First Love' on the other hand, is made up of three quatrains with a rhyme pattern ABABCDCDEFEFGHGHIJIJ, which gives the poem a very pleasing melody. One similarity between the two poems is that neither is written directly to the reader. 'Shall I compare thee...?' is in first person, and is written to Shakespeare's friend, and is a tribute to them and their beauty. These two poems are very different from one another, however each represent an idea of love. Although both poems are remarkably well written, I prefer 'Shall I compare thee...?' as I find it easier to understand. ...read more.

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