We have studied the greatest love poems ever written by men and women. These poets have used poems to emphasise their feelings and experiences of love and relationship.

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We have studied the greatest love poems ever written by men and women. These poets have used poems to emphasise their feelings and experiences of love and relationship.

  From these love poems written by famous poets, we find out that love is a complex subject matter and different poets intend to illustrate the aspects of love in their poems.

  These aspects are categorised into three different sections: firstly we see the joy of love; secondly the sexual desires of love and finally the pain of love.

  All of these aspects of love come from different periods of time. This era includes: William Shakespeare-16th Century; Donne and Marvell-17th Century; Byron, Wordsworth and Clare-19th Century: time of the romantic poets, Barrett Browning and Rossetti-late 19th Century: time of the Victorian poets.

  The following essay will express how these poets deal with the aspects of love and what we learn about different aspects of love from poetry spanning a period of several hundred years.

“Sonnet 18”, written by William Shakespeare (1564-1616). He was an English playwright and a poet, recognised in much of the world as the greatest of all dramatists. Scholars have written thousands of books and articles about his plots, characters, themes and language. He is the most widely quoted author in history, and his plays have probably been performed more times than those of any other dramatist.

  Shakespeare was also known for his plays and his sonnets are still among the world’s best-loved poems.

  All sonnets have fourteen lines. The lines have ten syllables and are arranged into three quatrains, or groups of four lines, and a final couplet (two successive lines that rhyme). The rhyme scheme of the sonnets is abab, cdcd, efef, and gg. A theme is developed and elaborated in the quatrains, and a concluding thought is presented in the couplets.

  “Sonnet 18” is categorised in the joy of love section. The main theme of this poem is summer and happiness, “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” This quote demonstrates that his lover is like a “summer’s day.” The reader can immediately identify that this poem is very positive and this question also attracts the reader’s attention. On the second line Shakespeare uses the repetition of “more.” “Thou art more lovely and more temperature.” This quote emphasises that the girl is better than summer. Shakespeare argues that the wind impairs the beauty of summer, and summer is too brief, “too short a date” and “too windy.” The splendour of summer is affected by the intensity of the sunlight, and, as the seasons change, summer becomes less beautiful.

  Due to all these shortcomings of summer, Shakespeare says that comparing his lover to this season fails to do her justice. While “often is his gold complexion dimmed,” her “eternal summer shall not fade,” this quote demonstrates that, she, unlike summer, will never deteriorate.    

  Shakespeare further asserts that his beloved will never die. “Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade.” This quote proves that the girl is immortal and death will never be able to catch her as she is immortalised through his poetry.

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  The repetition of “eternal” in line nine and twelve signifies, the girl’s beauty is everlasting and will never die.

  The poet believes his love will last forever. “So long as men can breathe and eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.” These last two lines further clarify the theme, vowing that for all eternity his lover will be immortalised by his poetry as she will never stop being beautiful.        

  There are many comparisons between “Sonnet 18” by William Shakespeare and “How Do I Love Thee?” By Elizabeth ...

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