Compare and Contrast

Topics: Poetry, Sonnet, Iambic pentameter Pages: 6 (1131 words) Published: May 2, 2014
Compare How Two Or More Poets Approach The Theme Of Love 

A lot of television programmes (soaps) and songs have the theme of  love, but until the latter part of the 20th Century, poetry was one  main source of entertainment, along with novels and plays. Traditional  love poetry is usually romantic, comparing the beloved to 

inconceivable beauty, Shakespeare's poetry being an example. Young  love is also a popular subject. A good poem showing this type of love  is John Clare's 'First Love' in which the boy is dumbstruck by the  beauty of his first love, "my blood rushed to my face." However  poetry, which breaks tradition, is just as interesting if not  pleasant. Robert Browning's poems are good examples, some more  cheerful than others. There are so many types of love poems including  obsessive love, spiritual love, erotic/passionate love and 'sickly'  love. Different poets approach the subject of love differently. Some  prefer Shakespeare's love others prefer Donne's love. 

We have studied and analysed a lot of poems, but I have chosen two  poems to compare. The first is Shakespeare's sonnet 'Shall I compare  thee..?' It is a classic sonnet with three quatrains and a rhyming  couplet at the end. I think that this length of poem is perfect for  its purpose, which is to explain and explore a single thought.  Shakespeare uses intense language. By doing this he gives his love a  kind of immortality, the love is everlasting. 

The poem begins with a question, "Shall I compare thee to a summers  day?", a lively and inviting tone. This is a remarkable claim.  Shakespeare is comparing his love with perfection. The question is  answered in the next line, "Thou art more lovely and more temperate".  This is even more astonishing as he believes her to be more perfect  than perfection. Shakespeare changes his tone to show the temporary  nature of spring and why summer is not a fair enough comparison,  "rough winds do shake the darling buds of Maie." His lady is  faultless. Shakespeare then lists the poor qualities of summer 

"And Sommers lease hath all too short a date." 

Shakespeare declares that the sun is sometimes too hot, while other  times "his gold complexion dim'd." The personification of the sun is  very effective. It is describing summer, while also describing other  people's temperament as flawed. However his love's "eternall Sommer  shall not fade." She again rises above everything. 

Shakespeare then states that his love's beauty will be eternal and she  will still be beautiful in her grave, 

"Nor shall death brag thou wandr'st in his shade." 

The couplet states that as long as "Men can breathe or eyes can see,"  this sonnet will keep his love's beauty alive. Shakespeare's ending is  joyful and loving, it confirms all of Shakespeare's thoughts. 

The second poem is Robert Browning's poem 'Porphyria's Lover.' This is  a very disturbing and thought provoking poem. The poem is narrated by  an obsessive lover who considers his love as a possession. She cannot  be with him because she is married, "her vainer ties". Obviously she  is an upper class citizen and he is not, therefore they cannot be  together in the public eye. 

The poem has no verses, I think that if Browning had created verses it  would have ruined the flow of the poem. The shock in the middle of the  poem is so effective because of this. 

'Porphyria's Lover' begins with the poet in a depressed state of mind,  transferring his mood into the weather, "the sullen wind", an example  of personification. This poem uses dark language to convey the lover's  emotions, "spite." 

'Porphyria's Lover' does however suddenly change tone when Porphyria  is likened to a goddess as she "glides" in the door. When she comes  in, her presence warms the cottage, "she shut the cold out and the  storm." Porphyria then undresses, teasing Browning, letting her long  blonde hair fall. "And, at last," she sits down very confidently and  calls him. She is...
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