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

Shakespeare's "Sonnet 116 and Donne's "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning".

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Shakespeare's "Sonnet 116 and Donne's "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" Brian Slobodian British Columbia Open University Assignment #2 Student # 100056594 March 8, 2004 Love is a common theme in many poems written by 17th century authors. Shakespeare's "Sonnet 116 and Donne's "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" both speak of the highest form of love; eternal true love. Their use of figurative language and rhythm schemes helps to convey to the reader that such a love exists. However, while both believe and speak passionately about true love, only the speaker in Donne's poem has experienced it, and therefore offers the reader hope for true and pure love. A summarization of both poems should help the reader understand this important difference. In laying forth their arguments for the existence of eternal true love, the authors share two main similarities; the structure of their poems and its message. The rhyme scheme in Shakespeare's "Sonnet 116" consists of the use of several end-rhymes and eye-rhymes in alternating lines. ...read more.

Middle

As in "Sonnet 116", the speaker in "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" also uses metaphors by comparing his love for his lover to a circle a compass makes, confirming that circles never end, so their love also never ends, "Thy firmness makes my circle just, / And makes me end where I begun." This gives the reader hope and confirms that no matter how great the time and distance between, true love will survive. To further develop their desired imagery, both poems utilize implied metaphors. In "Sonnet 116" the speaker says, "Love's not times fool, though rosy lips an cheeks within his bending sickles compass come" and "bears it out even to the edge of doom." He is saying that true love is beyond physical beauty, and time and aging can not dissolve it, true love lives unaffected for eternity. The speaker in "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" furthers this point by describing gold being beaten and hammered until it is fragile and thin, but still has the same value it did before it was stretched, "Like gold to aery thinness beat." ...read more.

Conclusion

As we have seen both poems establish common ground on the nature of true love. They tell us though the use of figurative language what true love is; a love that's beyond the physical, a timeless union that will always stay constant in the heart of even a lost soul. They also tell the reader what isn't; it does not "admit impediments", it is not susceptible to time and knows no distance. However, while both speak passionately about true love, what differentiates the two is the fact that the speaker in Donne's poem has experienced true love. For him it is not merely an idea, nor a theory. He believes in it because he possesses it, which may explain the varying emotions brought out by the poem. The speaker in Shakespeare's poem lacks this experience; he has never been exposed to the union of "true minds" and therefore speaks only about what he believes to be true and not what knows to be true. Donne offers hope for true and pure love; as someone who has found a life partner who shares his values. ...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. "The Flea" by John Donne is

    On the other hand 'To Autumn' is about nature and the real world. It is concerned with the passing of time within a season, or, as Keats personifies it, a person. Nature, especially the seasons, is a continuos cycle whereas; the supernatural portrayed in 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' is a long line, which has no end.

  2. Sonnet 116 - Write a critical appreciation of this Shakespearian sonnet, in which you ...

    Again, this refers to the star, which is Love. As we know, the sun is a star, which we need in order to live. We cannot live without Love. The poet also makes the reader realize that we cannot put value on it.

  1. Shakespeare's Sonnet 116.

    Here, Shakespeare is stating that there should be no obstacles between two people in "true" love. By using the word "impediments," the speaker is talking either of his or his love's ebbing feelings towards each other. He claims here that love is so completely divine, that when it is pure

  2. 'Sonnet 116'

    Time does not affect love in any way. Love being a person, love never changes- time cannot command love or change it. Love is not all about health and youth. It is timeless and it does take time for love to grow stronger. Time is nothing if your rosy lips and cheeks disappear, if time gets hold of you it does not matter.

  1. shakespeares sonnets

    "Surprised by Joy" starts off by William Wordsworth seeing something beautiful that fills him with joy and has he turns to share the joy with his daughter, but realises that she is dead: "Surprised by joy impatient as the wind // I turned to share the transport O! with whom".

  2. Commentary and Comparison on Sonnet 116 and 73.

    "Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks, within his bending sickle's compass come". It doesn't change, even though people get older and lose their "rosy lips and cheeks", their beauty. Even he, the Death, will come love will come trough, "love alters not" with Death's "brief hours and

  1. Since the beginning of human existence, there has been once practice,

    mechanics of sex, and the line ends with urgency in the word now. Pay for it in cash, fiction, cab-fares back to the life which crumbles like a wedding cake. He pays for the wine in cash, so there is no credit card receipt or statement to arouse suspicion.

  2. How do Shakespeare, Donne and Marvel treat the subject of love in their poetry?

    define love and to show how love is threatened by other things. Romantic flattery is shown when Shakespeare says, "rosie lips and cheeks", it is also describing his beloved. The reminder of death is shown when the poem says, "edge of doome"; this is even more effective than just death

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