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What differences have you found in the presentation of attitudes to love in 4 pre 1940 poems

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Introduction

What differences have you found in the presentation of attitudes to love in any 4 of the pre 1940 poems I am going to write about 4 different poems and about there differences and similarities The 4 poems i have chosen to write about are: To Celia - by Ben Jonson To His Coy Mistress - Andrew Marvell My Picture - By Abraham Cowley Shall I Compare thee...? - By William Shakespeare The predominant attitude to love before nineteen-fourteen was to base affection purely on surface qualities and not the internal qualities. Some of the poems support and others contradict this view. I am going to explore the different attitudes to love in poems written before nineteen-fourteen by Shakespeare, Jonson, Cowley and Marvell. The main purpose of Shakespeare's sonnet, "Shall I compare thee...?" is to immortalise his beloved through his own poetry. The sonnet is initially seen as typical of the love poetry of Elizabethan England because he is comparing his beloved to nature's beauty However, Shakespeare takes the Elizabethan love poem a step further by explaining that his beloved ...read more.

Middle

In "To His Coy Mistress", Marvell's beloved is also not idolised, as in "To Celia" but he does use excessive flattery as a persuasive device. This makes many of the supposedly devoted phrases he uses seem false. "An hundred years should go to praise Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze" He exaggerates how beautiful he thinks she is by likening her to a Goddess who should be worshipped, hoping that this will convince her of his love. The Shakespeare sonnet makes references to the five senses. Jonson's "To Celia", written at a similar time, also refers to the senses: "Drink to me, only, with thine eyes" Marvell writes "To His Coy Mistress" in 1621, also attempting to persuade, like Jonson. This time not to get his beloved to love him, but to persuade her to sleep with him. Both men are seen to be being rejected whereas in the Shakespeare sonnets, it is obvious that the couples are very much in love already. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ben Jonson has made the words of the poem flow really well - "Drink to me only with thine eyes, And I'll not look for wine Or leave a kiss but in the cup And I'll not look for wine" As you can see by reading this the words Ben Jonson has used do not seem as if he has just used them because they rhyme, he has simply used them because these chosen words are telling his story. If we look at the poem "Shall I compare thee..." by Shakespeare the language he has used is simple and easy to read. The poem is also understandable unlike parts of "To Celia" by Ben Jonson. In conclusion we can see that all four poems however being similar in some way also have there on qualities and downsides. In Shakespeare's sonnet he tries to say that beauty on the inside will last forever however beauty on the outside will be destroyed one day. On the other hand Marvell writes his poem to persuade his beloved, not to adore her. Jonson writes to try and tell his beloved how much he loves her as he is desperate to be with her. ...read more.

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