Compare and contrast the following poems.
A distinctive difference in the poems would be that Sonnet 81 is a blazon poem whereas Sonnet 130 is an anti-blazon poem. Both poems revolve around the theme of love, describing the woman and their feeling towards them, however the former picks out the woman’s admirable physical traits whereas the latter criticizes.
Both the Spenserian sonnet and the Shakespearean sonnet presents the theme of love and woman, where both authors are absolutely in love with their lovers. The first poem addresses the woman as ‘my love’, hence the personal pronoun ‘my’ makes the love very personal and intimate. The superlative ‘Fairest’ also highlights the upmost regard the author has for his love. Similarly in the second poem, the first person pronoun is used where the lady is addressed as ‘my mistress’. Furthermore the simile ‘my love as rare as any she belied with false compare’ emphasizes the extraordinary love the author has for the lady, with the word ‘rare’ having the connotation of exceptionality. ‘Heaven’ is also symbolic for angelic qualities and sublime beauty, thus reiterating the great love felt by the author. Thus both poems focus on the topic of love for their lady.
The jarring difference in these poems would be that one praises a woman’s physical qualities whereas the other mocks the idea of such admiration. The former poem uses elaborate imagery of nature such as the ‘the loose wind’, ‘the rose in her red cheek’, the ‘cloud of pride’ and the simile of her ‘breast like a rich laden bark’ to compliment the features of the woman. The reference to nature is symbolic of purity in the beauty. The metaphor of ‘her eyes the fire of love’ is an elaborate hyperbole that signifies the passion and gorgeousness of the woman being described. Hence this rich description represents the ideals of beauty according to the author and the exaggeration of such physical traits. In contrast, imagery is used in the latter poem to criticize...
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