Exploring Love Attitudes in Poetry

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Exploring Love Attitudes in Poetry


The poems that I have chosen are: 'To his coy mistress' by Andrew

Marvell. 'Sonnets 18 by William Shakespeare, and 'To the virgins, to

make much of time' by Robert Herrick.

All the above poems are poems about the subject of love. Each poem is

very passionate and complex in nature when you initially read it for

the first time and consequently they have stood the test of time and

lasted hundreds of years. This portrays a conclusion to what some

poets say because they express how the poems will last forever. There

are many various themes used throughout the poems. Time, beauty,

praise for the beloved and how love can be confused by lust are all

reoccurring themes in these poems and sum up many pre-18th century

love poems. However, two themes that are central to this form of

poetry are 'Carpe diem'- seize the day - and how the incessant march

of time contributes to the fading of beauty.

'To his coy mistress' - perhaps the most controversial of the poems,

deals with the theme 'carpe diem' but focuses more on lust than love,

'To the virgins' once again deals the theme of 'Carpe diem' and urges

the young to enjoy themselves, this is also significant in it's title.

'Sonnet 18.' Shakespeare wrote a series of sonnets which were probably

addressed to a noble young man for whom he felt deep love and

admiration. 'Sonnet 18' is the eighteenth sonnet in the series where

he deals with love and the problems of time.

The use of the powerful Latin phrase 'Carpe diem', interpreted into

English roughly as 'To seize the day', used in the context of

literature I would imagine is used to ex...

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Line nine starts the resolution of the poem by using a conjunctive

"but." "Eternal summer, on the same line, is referring back to the

mans eternal beauty, using summer to symbolize beauty, and saying his

beauty will never fade like the summers beauty. At the end of the poem

the rhyming couplet brings the whole poem to a contended still. He is

fundamentally saying that as long as the poem is read, the mans

splendour will never fade away, because every time the poem is read

they will be reminded of the mans beauty. Here we can recognise a

biblical reference because Jesus once said "as long as you have eyes

to see and ears to hear you can teach about me."

So as Jesus' is still remembered thousands of years after his death,

because of teachings. So too has Shakespeare's, his subjects beauty

will always live on.
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