Compare how poets present the theme of love in; Havisham, Valentine, My last Duchess, Sonnet 18, Sonnet 116 and Piano

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Compare How Poets Present The Theme Of Love

The theme expressed through these chosen six poems is the nature of love. This can be positively presented in for example, sonnet 18, sonnet 116 (William Shakespeare) and Piano (D.H. Lawrence). Sonnet 18 is about how the imperfections of summer compares with the perfection and completeness of his lover. Sonnet 116 is concerned with how true love is like a long journey and marriage- being a metaphor for true love will guide you through it. Additionally, Piano is about the power of memory of his late mother striking the man at a concert he went to, which brings about a light and sensual approach on the topic of love. Whilst others view love negatively, like Havisham, Valentine (Carol Ann Duffy), and My Last Duchess Ferrara (Robert Browning). Valentine provides a mutual, more realistic interpretation of love, and discusses the matter that it’s not always like a “red rose or satin heart”. Havisham is about a depressed woman who has been stood up at the altar and has been lying in bed ever since in a terrible, emotional state, indicating the destructive nature of love. And lastly, My Last Duchess is a dramatic monologue in which we hear the story of a duke looking for a new wife and throughout the story we get the idea that he has had her previous wife killed.

Shakespeare’s sonnet 116 and sonnet 18 represent different perspectives of the theme of love, both love for others and love of your own ego. In sonnet 18, Shakespeare uses bathos when he undermines the reader’s expectation; the poem creates a very romantic atmosphere and then, all of a sudden, the mood drops as soon as he reveals the love is for his own writing, “So long lives this, and this gives life to thee” meaning so long there are people on earth, this poem shall live on, which is intended to make both his poetry skills and writing sound everlasting. In contrast, sonnet 116 is actually about the true love and passion he has for his lover. We acknowledge that this poem is about a lot more than being in a relationship just for the sake of a statement or to use the women for physical pleasure, when he states "Let me not to the marriage of true minds".  We notice the reference made to the lovers "mind" rather than referring to the body. This emphasises his dedication and passion he has towards his lover. This purely platonic relationship has also been carried in the poem Piano, where the child has powerful and magical nostalgic memories when he goes to a concert after a "vista of years" of not being cared by his late mother. He feels the “woman is singing" to him. His feelings towards the singer are very intimate and passionate as he feels a strong connection with the singer as if it's for his mother. This unrelated event (a night at the concert) has sparked a powerful rush of memory that he feels emotionally attached to, also transports him back to his youth.

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In the opening of Sonnet 18, Shakespeare states, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” The thought of the comparison with “Summer” is very efficacious as summer has connotations of the season of high youth and represents an uplifting perspective of beauty. The way that the first line is a question shows that he is trying to think about the most beautiful thing to “compare” his loved one to, and then realises following the second line that a comparison to “summer” is not good enough by saying “Thou art more lovely and more temperate.” Throughout the poem he describes ...

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