Shakespeare Poetry vs. Contemporary: Brisbane Audience

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Since the dawn of time man has asked the perpetual question what is love? Over the ages, this question has been answered by different people, in different times, who expressed a different view from the last. (1) Historically, the method of answering such was typically through the use of poetry. Ladies and gentleman of the Brisbane Writer’s festival, today I Michael Erian, a senior student from Anglican Church Grammar School, hope to shed light on this philosophical point by comparing and contrasting two poems, and by doing so, to prove that poetry, both local and canonical is meaningful to you – a Brisbane audience. (2) As aforementioned, people from different eras have different views on the proposition what is love? Therefore to answer this question properly it will be necessary for us to deconstruct two poems from contrasting eras. Poetry about love has a long history, but when it comes to this discourse, there is no more prominent wordsmith than William Shakespeare. Like most romantics, he favoured the conventional form of the sonnet, which demanded great poetic skill. I have chosen Shakespeare’s love sonnet number 116, written in the renaissance era, entitled Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds.(3) In this sonnet Shakespeare states that true love is unfaltering- line 3: love is not love which alters when it alteration finds – in other words, you just don’t fall in and out of love. Shakespeare’s invited reading is that Love is everlasting, as can be seen in line 5 – (Love is) an ever fixed mark. In line 6, Shakespeare writes Love looks on tempests and is never shaken, meaning Love can overcome any obstacle; love will always pull through adversity. In Line 7 Shakespeare writes – it (love) is the star to every wandering bark. Signifying that love is to a person as the North Star was to early seamen. If you couldn’t find the North Star you were lost. Shakespeare therefore held the thought that without love, one was lost. Finally, Shakespeare gives us the...
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