Lust or Love Essay
Poetry is used to convey an idea that can not be expressed in words, but rather in thought. The contemplative state of the poet, not the actions, is mimicked in the flowing lines of poetry he/she emit.
In “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” the emotional state of Shakespeare is exemplified in the form of his battle between lust and love.The poem is written in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet which requires three quatrains and one complete in iambic pentameter. This established tradition of the Shakespearean sonnet allowed Shakespeare to woo women and express his inner emotions. “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” is a lyrical battle of the conscience mind. Shakespeare shows a clear uncertainty between lust and love. Lust can best be described as a crave one individual has for another individual; whereas, love can be described as an emotional appeal.
This vendetta between the two is seen in the imagery and shifts presented within the poem. Most notably, this Shakespearean sonnet is the first to acknowledge that beauty can be carried in other forms than procreation, but rather in the lines of poetry.Upon examination of the first four lines, images of disparage immediately are conveyed. The setting is that of a summer’s day with “rough winds” that appear to torment the “darling buds.” Shakespeare creates a desolate setting in order to make his mistress appear to be more beautiful than she really is.
Further more, by doing this; Shakespeare exemplifies himself as being lustful for this woman. He clearly has a crave to woo this women into his control and personal satisfaction. However, the mentality is offset by the shift between the second and third quatrain.During this shift, Shakespeare switches his ideas of his mistress to ideas of internal and eternal beauty, but more importantly, beauty can be conveyed in other mediums besides procreations. This makes one believe that the answer to “is it lust or love” is that it is love.
Shakespeare develops his emotions for his mistress of lust to love by eternalizing the beauty of his mistress in the beauty of the sonnet.The external structure of the sonnet allows Shakespeare to easily portray his shift in mindset. The rhyming scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, allows Shakespeare to slowly change his mindset while retaining a connection to the original thought. Then the rhyme scheme GG marks the climax of the poem: the realization that beauty can be preserved in lyrical contexts and, ultimately, that he has a sense of love for his mistress.
As a whole the poem creates the beginning and the end of the vendetta between lust and love. The resulting product is a systematic solution to the uncertainty that Shakespeare possessed. The immediate mood of lustfulness is seen as Shakespeare craves his mistress which is evident by talking her up; however, this mood is changed to a warming love when he says. “So long as men shall breathe or eyes can see/ So long lives this and this gives life to thee.”