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"Shakespeare's sonnets present a more cynical view of romantic love than Romeo and Juliet." Do you agree?

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English Literature Essay on Shakespeare's sonnets and Romeo and Juliet "Shakespeare's sonnets present a more cynical view of romantic love than Romeo and Juliet." Do you agree? First, let's define "cynical". According to the Webster's dictionary of the English language, "cynical" means distrusting or disparaging the motives of others. It is for certain that both the sonnets and Romeo and Juliet have negative views on romantic love. Shakespeare questions and doubts about the love of Romeo and Juliet, or rather, criticize and mock their hasty death. On the other hand, in the sonnets, Shakespeare also questions about whether romantic love as lasting as it seems. Since both the sonnets and Romeo and Juliet have the same cynical view on romantic love, I do not agree with this statement. Because either one of them is more cynical than the other. In the following paragraphs, I would prove to you how both the play's view on romantic love concurs with the sonnets. A very famous sonnet, number 130, portrays Shakespeare's mistress as a hideous woman, without eyes like the sun, without coral red lips, with breast like dun and hair like wires etc. This sonnet is exceptional since it portrays a different, a more comical view of the love towards a woman. ...read more.


The sonnet portrays a ugly lady who processes negatives things. It serves as a great contrast with the poems written at that time. It seems to be laughing out loud at other poems. In Romeo and Juliet, their death is not at all romantic, it is rather comical too. There are skeleton everywhere, Tybalt is rotting right next to Juliet, and the atmosphere is even spooky. Shakespeare makes it really hard for readers to connect romantic with dead bodies and serves his purpose of mocking these teenage lovers. Similar ideas can be found in sonnet 137. Love blinds and fools, "that they behold, and see not what they see?" It also mentions that eyes are "corrupt by over-partial looks". Shakespeare questions whether we should "put fair truth upon so foul a face". Romantic love may not show the truth, only looking at the uttermost layer cannot lead us to the truth. There is a Chinese saying "don't judge a person by his appearance". The next example is Sonnet 147; love is portrayed as fever in this sonnet. Romantic love is like fever in many ways- love makes you can't think before you act; love makes you want to fall in love even though it's painful; love is incurable; love makes you mad... ...read more.


Similar ideas can be found in sonnet 138, the first two line, "When my love swears that she is made of truth, do believe her, though I know she lies." This also shows how love can blind us from the truth. This is what people call romantic love: no matter what she says or do, I love her still. This is also the case of Romeo and Juliet; they love each other even though they are born enemies. Some people may even think that romantic love means dying for the love one or dying for love's sake. This is why they view Romeo and Juliet as a classic romantic play. Quite the opposite, Shakespeare clearly intended to destroy the dreams of many people. The couple's death is scary more than touching: Romeo kills Paris in front of the "dead" Juliet. He also brings a sharp thing to break into the tomb, while Paris at least brings some flowers. To conclude, Shakespeare had put much effort in putting his cynical view of romantic love forward. The play definitely concurs with the ideas from the sonnets. Although not every sonnet is about love, some of them are not written for that purpose. However, we can see from above that the play and the sonnets are equally cynical. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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