Metaphors by Sylvia Plath and Sonnet 7 by William Shakespeare

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The poems “Metaphors” by Sylvia Plath and “Sonnet 7” by William Shakespeare contrast one another and provide insight into how each author felt about the issue of having a child through their writing. According to the website dedicated to her,, Sylvia Plath wrote poetry predominantly in the mid 20th century. Her views on pregnancy are reflected in her poem “Metaphors” and are drastically different from those of Shakespeare. The gap in time between each poem is somewhere around three hundred and fifty years. This gap explains a lot about the different views on having children, showing the predominant opinions of the population during their day and age. By analyzing these poems and contrasting different elements present in each of the works, the differing views of each generation on having children come to light. The poems “Metaphors” by Sylvia Plath and “Sonnet 7” by William Shakespeare show how views on having children have evolved over time through contrasting imagery, diction, and metaphors. In the poem “Metaphors” by Sylvia Plath, imagery is present in every aspect of the poem. Many of the lines in this work depict at least one image through their descriptions, and many of the lines had several. Some of the most important images present in the poem are that of an elephant, a house and a melon. These images seem unrelated, but they are in fact connected by a central topic. Later on in the poem, the narrator states that she has “eaten a bag of green apples” (Plath). This particular image evokes a certain sense of unease, because green apples are sour. Another image in this poem is that of money and a purse. The illustration of “new-minted” money gives the reader both a sense of starting anew and a feeling of want ... ... middle of paper ... ...he reader, and the one emotion that Shakespeare seems to be conveying to the reader is grand desire to have a child. The use of metaphors also supports this view in “Sonnet 7,” highlighting that having a son is extremely important, while “Metaphors” expresses the fact that the author is not sure whether she really wants to have a child or not. In the analysis of each poem it is clear that Sylvia Plath is feeling a lot of emotions, and is regretful and unsure about having a child. On the contrary, Shakespeare is regretful for not having a son. These differences reflect the distinctive views on having a child in the 20th century vs the 17th century. The view of having a child has evolved over time, changing from the notion that bearing a son is essential to life in the 17th century, to the modern view of not necessarily needing a son, or any children at all, as much.

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