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Show how the poet uses language to explore the theme of love in the poems studied in class. Specific reference should be made to Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 and Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress".

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Introduction

Show how the poet uses language to explore the theme of love in the poems studied in class. Specific reference should be made to Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 and Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress". Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 is a typical Shakespearian sonnet. It was written in the sixteenth century love poem, which presents the poets view of true love in three quatrains and an affirmation of his belief in a concluding rhyming couplet. This poem depicts the unwavering nature of true love. The speaker tells us that real love cannot be tarnished or destroyed by time, and is everlasting. In the opening lines, the speaker makes this clear. He tells us that true love is the "marriage of true minds". He tells us that there can be no impediment to true love and that nothing can dissolve its strength or change its innate quality, "... Love is not Love, Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove." Shakespeare is trying to explain to us that, in his opinion, true love cannot be affected by outside circumstances. It would seem that real love cannot change over time, and can never be taken away, even if one of the partners dies. ...read more.

Middle

The man would write poems for his rather distant beloved, often married to someone else and praise physical features with lavish exaggeration. The man would compliment her eyes, her rosy cheeks, her lips, and her breasts for she was subject of his flattery. In this poem, the speaker is using this well-known literary device to seduce his shy mistress because he wants her to make love with him at the present moment. She apparently is not giving into his undoubted charm. Marvell himself seems to be at a distance from the poem, looking in on another man's fascination with this beautiful woman, as the poem is called "To His Coy Mistress". The speaker begins by telling his "mistress" that if he had all the time in the world he would be more than pleased to spend all eternity courting her in the proper formal manner, "Had we but the world enough, and time, This coyness, Lady, were no crime." Marvell tells his beloved that he would spend time with her anywhere in the world, from the exotic banks of the "Indian Ganges" to the humble localality of the "Humber", if only he had the time to spare. Marvell uses Biblical references to emphasize the vast expanse of time he would take to pine for her. ...read more.

Conclusion

willing soul transpires At every pore with instant fires" He tells his mistress of his desires, comparing the two of them to "amorous birds of prey". This brings to mind the destructive power of eagles and hawks, who ravage their prey in the lust for gratification He conceals the sexual act thinly in another funny double entendre, "Let us roll up all our strength and all Our sweetness into one ball, And tear our pleasures with rough strife, Through the iron gates of life." Marvell superbly ends his poem with another witty remark. He tells his subject that although they cannot defeat time and make it stand still, the can make it fly, enjoying pleasure as they do so, "Thus, though we cannot make our sun Stand still, yet we will make him run" As you can see, these two poems take completely different views to the theme of love and the use of the genre of love poetry in very different ways. Shakespeare looks at true love and its everlasting nature in his poem, telling us love will endure, whereas Marvell upends the tradition of courtly love to argue the case for instant gratification of sexual desires. Both poets explore the theme of love in completely different ways, and offer the reader an engaging view of both. Poetry Coursework Page 1 of 6 ...read more.

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