The two poems I shall compare are the poems Sonnet 116, by Shakespeare, and Hour by Carol Ann Duffy.

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Compare and contrast the poets’ analysis of the relationship between time and love

The two poems I shall compare are the poems “Sonnet 116,” by Shakespeare, and “Hour” by Carol Ann Duffy. These two poems are both about the influences of time and love, their themes differ, and are similar in many ways throughout.

Sonnet 116 describes love as enduring, unchanged until the “edge of doom”.  As well as being “unshaken by storms”, “Love alters not” – it is a constant, an “ever-fixed mark”, just as a “star” is reliably found in the night sky. As well as not changing appearance or position, love “bears it out even to the edge of doom”. Shakespeare is using language associated with extremes to show the power of love, confirming love as a positive force that triumphs over the prospect of “doom”. However in Hour time is compressed, and yet the poem suggests love is forever resourceful, able to find riches in a short amount of time. The pleasures and riches that the couple gather in an hour allow them to feels as if they are frozen in time: “Time slow, for here/we are millionaires, backhanding the night”. The hour spent together in the golden light gives them a sense of power, making them feel as if they can bribe the darkness to hold back, giving the lovers immense joy and wealth.

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In sonnet 116 we are told that love’s “worth unknown”, as if it’s something too important to give a fixed value. Shakespeare acknowledges that love is a mysterious force “Whose worth’s unknown.” Implying love is priceless and beyond the ability of man to evaluate even though “his height be taken”.  Although in hour the love of the couple is described in terms of valuable objects like “treasure” and “gold” which express that to be with a loved one, even for just an hour, is precious and valuable .  

Another difference between the two poems is that Hour presents ...

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