Francisca Darko

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Sonnet 116 by Shakespeare and Hour by Carol Ann Duffy

Sonnet 116 and Hour are love poems that aim to describe love as a powerful force to be reckoned with. Both poems are traditional sonnets with 14 lines that express love as a “bright” “star” that almost brings light into people's lives. Sonnet 116 describes love as a “star to every wand'ring bark” suggesting that it is the north star that guides ships home. The north star does not move so won't let you down if you were to follow it. Perhaps this is used by Shakespeare to present love as a guide, we should follow our hearts as love can never let us down Furthermore stars travel across time so Shakespeare is perhaps implying that love will last through out time. The extended metaphor of light is also used in hour when she describes that “nothing dark will end” their “shining hour” suggesting that perhaps she feels their love makes them “bright” and powerful enough not to be stopped by anything dark, an enemy such as time. The speaker describes their love like “the Midas light” which alludes us to the story of Midas, the greek king whose touch could turn things to gold. On one hand, this story reminds the reader of the curse this power became to Midas but on the other hand, Duffy's use of this reference could be to suggest that their love almost freezes time as they are able to turn themselves to gold and stay locked in a moment together. Similarly, Shakespeare describes love as an “ever-fixed mark” suggesting it is unmoving and unchanged and frozen in “the Midas light as Duffy describes it. Although hour seems to suggest that love can transform things such as “straw” to “gold” , Shakespeare argues that love does not alter when “alteration finds”, love cannot be altered in any way. Shakespeare seems to emphasise this point with his repetition of parts of the words, “alters when it alteration finds” and “remover to remove”. His use of repetition is perhaps to create a rhythm for the reader when reading which...
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