Many people have different views on love. Many of these views throughout the ages are explored through poetry as love has much contemporary relevance in today’s society as it ever did before. Two love poems I read which inspired me were Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 116’ and Carol-Anne Duffy’s ‘Valentine’.
Shakespeare’s poem is a traditional sonnet written in the late 1660’s Renaissance period when at this time love was not a discussed topic in society. The people of society married for money or business purposes, which Shakespeare strongly disapproved of.This may have been a factor, which led Shakespeare to write this poem. The structure of ‘Sonnet116’ is typical of poetry in the Renaissance period.
The first line establishes the tone as already having something defensive about it – reinforced by the negative definitions of the first quatrain-. “Let me not to the marriage of true minds… love is not love/ Which alters when it alteration finds..
. ” The poem begins telling of what love is not. It denies the short-term everyday image of love and believes love is a very special and unique thing. This gains the reader’s attention immediately.
The tone throughout ‘Sonnet116’ is ever changing bringing an exciting development to the poem. “Let me not to the marriage of true minds/ Admit impediments. ” The poem implies difficulties, while arguing that they do not exist, really. Shakespeare presents love as being something that does not capitulate and can conquer everything. He continues to discuss love as being unreal if it does not overcome predicaments.
Shakespeare has represe...
nted love as being unconditional and predetermined, “Love is not love/ Which alters when it alteration finds, /Or bends with the remover to remove” “alters… lteration.
remove… “. The following terms by their repetition of the first terms suggest effects following causes automatically, legalistically, without question – but the poem wants to contradict this: love is not like this – it is not a contract.
The emotional tone of the poem alters at this point. It goes from the apparently legalistic, distanced definition of Love to the emotionally insistent – from the negative definitions of the first quatrain to a more positive definition: It is…
“O, no! t is an ever-fixed mark,” He presents a very idealistic view of love, which does not alter over time. Shakespeare writes of the ‘marriage of true minds’ – but that is in contrast to the marriage of bodies – physical love. Love does not change no matter what. Love cannot be taken away at will even when the lovers want it removed. Many sorts of storms come between lovers such as arguments but they do not shake love, or scare it away, if it’s true love. Shakespeare continues with the love theme throughout the rest of the octet.
Throughout this octet the rate increases as an evident tonal shift occurs.This portrays the absolute devotion and emotional extent of love. At the end of this octet the commanding tone reaches its climax. This portrays Shakespeare’s main theme of unconditional love.
Shakespeare finishes his poem with a separately rhymed couplet “If this be error, and upon me prov’d, /I never
writ, nor no man ever lov’d ” This shows his sincerity, which is represented in this couplet and is effective at crating a climax for the reader. Shakespeare well thought out structure and tonal shifts create the image of love being coherent and unique.Shakespeare introduces us to the theme of time. He tells how time should not affect a marriage of ‘True minds. ‘ This is effective at creating a serene and thoughtful mood.
Shakespeare follows this imperturbable tone throughout the sestet. “Love’s not time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks” It is not time’s fool because it will be there until the end of Time. Love is not at the mercy of Time. Time may be measured in hours and weeks; love’s only proper measure begins where time leaves off “the edge of doom”.
Time may alter beauty, but love will not flinch.To define the permanency and durability of love Shakespeare uses comparisons and metaphors successfully to represent his powerful opinions. Shakespeare uses the metaphor “It is the star to every wandering bark,” as stars are traditional guiding lights which emphasises the permanency of love – for Elizabethans the stars are fixed as God, as a decoration on the floor of Heaven, places them nothing more fixed. To describe the guidance and security love can offer. Shakespeare verifies his perspective on love as being priceless and precious, “although his height be taken”.The angle of the star could be measured through instruments – although nothing about the star – in itself – would be known – hence the difference in the poem between worth and height Shakespeare uses imagery, which illustrates his strong perspective on love.
Shakespeare uses imagery again to describe love as a movement, which it is not, “Or bends with the remover to remove it”. Shakespeare uses personification to show the relationship between time and love effectively. His use of dramatic imagery such as, “love’s not time’s fool” Shakespeare creates this powerful imagery as by personifying time’s ‘bending sickle’.He creates a clear image to the reader again by his references to times affect on ‘rosy lips and cheeks’. Love is defined by its removal from anything physical – since physical attraction – rosy lips and cheeks – is precisely what is subject to Time – i.
e. physical beauty decays This stresses to the reader that love is unchangeable. Shakespeare uses his main method of style again towards the end of the sestet when the relationship between love and time is personified, ” Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks /But bears it out even to the edge of doom. “Shakespeare uses hyperbole here.He intentionally embellishes the reference to doom to persuasively implement the perpetuity and long-term characteristics of love. Shakespeare uses this method of hyperbole again in his first octet, “Love looks on tempests and is never shaken.
” These uses of hyperbole highlight how real love is and how successful it is over all. The last couplet seeks to finally close the argument. ,”If this be error, upon me prov’d, I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d. ” Shakespeare ends this poem
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