Comparing ideas of love in Sonnet 116 and To His Coy Mistress. Would love someone to comment on my response. Thanks.
Famous for being Britain’s most successful writer from Elizabethan times, William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 compares contrastingly with To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvel. The sonnet portrays Shakespeare’s views on love and how it is eternal providing it is true. Marvel believes time is also precious in To His Coy Mistress although he portrays it in an alternate way.
One method Shakespeare uses in Sonnet 116 is from structure by the use of a rhyming couplet at the end. It has indentation that makes the lines stand out to highlight the significance of his point and truly show the reader what he is trying to say. The words ‘proved’ and ‘loved’ rhyme in order to bring connotations those relationships between lovers will live parallel together in harmony if they’re truly meant to be. Shakespeare provides the reader with a final message where they either must agree with him or the whole poem is a lie. His persuasive technique by the form of the poem ensures the reader believes what he is saying is true and that his opinion is correct. They can visualise two companions like the line on the page, going on together, even after death as lovers forever and this is heart-warming for the reader because they would like love like this. It is recognisably rare to find someone whom you want to spend forever with so they feel empathy when Shakespeare writes so beautifully that he thinks this love is available and absolutely true when you love the one you are with.
Contrastingly, To His Coy Mistress consists of three stanzas that can represent a three part argument as Marvell attempts to persuade his lover. Instead of Shakespeare’s sonnet form approach, enjambment is used by the author to suggest that he simply cannot stop complimenting his love and that he is so determined to get his lover that he will go on forever in order for her to be his. Alternatively, the poems romantic nature can show that the line length is like a heartbeat to suggest that the narrator’s heart beats only for the person he’s addressing. It makes the reader feel as though they can empathise with both the narrator and his lover because they’re living in the moment to ensure they can be together. The idea is that everyone is persuaded and although the author is bold within his speech, the reader respects his honesty which persuades them to like the poem.
Another method the poets use to explore ideas about love is language because both poems use metaphors to persuade the reader to agree with their ideas about devotion. The quotation ‘let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments’ comes from Sonnet 116 which represents genuine true love. It shows how Shakespeare means to say that nothing will stop true love from happening and it is completely natural. He believes that if two people are meant to be together, they will be. The word ‘impediments’ represents obstructions of love. If the love is true, lovers will overcome these problems and people who threaten their relationship because they’re in love and want to be together. This allows the reader to see how Shakespeare uses this as part of imagery as they can visualise people trying to jilt others at the altar however you will go through with a marriage if you honestly love the person.
Similarly, To His Coy Mistress uses the metaphor ‘my vegetable love’. The word ‘vegetable’ implies that the reader wants us to believe that the kind of love he is offering is healthy and nutritious, much like a vegetable. It is hyperbole to highlight his desperation as he wants to get a wife. The metaphor makes the reader believe he really is sincere in his declaration of love and despite his sexual intentions; he wants to look after his lover. This makes the reader feel happy for the lovers because witnessing this love grow, much like a vegetable is enlightening and something everyone desires.
A final method displaying ideas of love is personification used in Sonnet 116 as a literary device. The phrase ‘it is an ever fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken’ contains references to exploration which would be considered contemporary in the 1600’s due to the fascinating scientific discovery of telescopes. They’d use the stars to find their location which is relevant to the phrase ‘ever fixed mark’ which is like a compass guiding the lovers towards each other because there isn’t much time and they need to be together, not on anywhere else. In addition to this, the word ‘tempests’ is like a storm which means the compass could guide them through the struggle of life. No one can separate them and they will always be bought back together. Therefore the reader can truly see that they were meant to be together.
However, in To His Coy Mistress refers more to riches than navigation. The quotation ‘shouldst rubies find; I by the tide of Humber would complain’ suggests cultural contrast and that an ending is at one source. The word ‘rubies’ is as if he compares his mistress to a valuable jewel that he would love to wear upon his person whilst he’s by the river. No matter what challenge, he intends to retrieve her and have her as a prize to show off because of her beauty which is flattering for his lover. The reader feels great happiness for her and feels as though the author is winning the reader over more and more as the poem goes on.
Overall, both poems use carpe diem to show how the narrator wants to seize the moment and ensure that love is valued. This influences the reader to agree with their views and understand their ideas.
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- Thread Starter
- 24-05-2016 20:36
- 24-05-2016 20:44
Your understanding of use of structure and use of literary devices are good. I would say this is probably B grade but maybe not far off an A.
To improve the first thing I would say is use more complex sentences, linking with semi colons so the writing flows better. Also, use much more sophisticated language as your language is quite simple. And one important improvement would be to embed your quotations, you cannot achieve an A without this as it limits your marks.
For example rather than "The phrase ‘it is an ever fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken'"
Embed this into, 'Shakespeare refers to love as 'an ever fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken'"
Lastly, be a bit more different with your interpretation, think outside the box don't limit yourself to the mot obvious meanings, creativity is never wrong.
And remember it is quality not quantity, in the exam you will not have time to write this much so condense it into paragraphs of focus, one being structure, the other being form, and the other language for example.Last edited by abbigm1; 24-05-2016 at 20:46.