Compare Hour and Sonnet 43

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Higher English Paper
Section A – Question 7
“Hour compared with Sonnet 43”

Both poems are about love. Hour presents love as being times enemy, whereas, Sonnet 43 presents love as absolute and unconditional. Both poets see love as being precious and worth more than life itself. Barrett Browning shows love as lasting forever, but Duffy feels that love can’t last forever.

Sonnet 43 is an old fashioned poem; you can see this from the form. It uses iambic pentameter which creates the feeling of real speech, as though she is truly saying it to her husband. By using the famous phrase “how do I love thee?” by William Shakespeare, gives it that old traditional feel, also with it having many references to religion, such as ‘if God choose, faith and praise’, this makes the poem sound old fashioned as religion was very important to people back then. However, Hour is a very contemporary poem. It has three quatrains and is loosely based upon the Sonnet form, which links in with the fact that the poem is about love. Clues to it being more contemporary are that it uses a traditional fairy tale story (Rumplestiltskin) and turns it into a modern interpretation by referencing love to gold.

Both poems use repetition. Barrett Browning uses ‘I love thee’ which suggests that she is trying to convince him that she loves him deeply, but it could also be that she is trying to convince herself of the passion she feels for him. Repeating it throughout the poem helps introduce the several different ways that she loves him. Duffy repeats the world ‘gold’ suggesting that love is gold; expensive, treasured and precious. It also implies that love is like money, regarding the references to love being like a coin, rich, and making them millionaires. This shows how much she thinks of love and how much she respects it. This concept also appears in Sonnet 43 where love is compared to religion, showing great importance and high regard for love.

Both poems also use rhyme. In...
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