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Shakespeare's Ideas About Love in His Sonnets

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Shakespeare's Ideas About Love in His Sonnets

The two sonnets Shall I Compare Thee and Let Me Not are by William

Shakespeare. Love is the main theme of both sonnets. Shall I Compare

Thee is written for Shakespeare's love, and it is more personal and

cheerful. He takes apart the greatness of a summer's day and compares

it to the subject of the poem, but the subject (whom we assume is a

'she') is always more divine and she is the most beautiful thing he

has ever seen. The sonnet states that the subject is "…more lovely and

more temperate…" than the finest summer's day. Let Me Not is a

philosophical interpretation of love, and implies that this is what

love should be like. In the end Shakespeare almost dares the reader to

challenge him about what he has written and declares that if he is

wrong then "…I never writ, nor man ever loved." The aim of this essay

is to illustrate how Shakespeare express' his ideas about love in

these two sonnets.

Shall I Compare Thee and Let Me Not are typical Shakespearean sonnets.

They begin with twelve lines of quatrains then ends with a rhyming

couplet. There are four lines to each quatrain, and three quatrains

before the couplet. The quatrains rhyme every other line. The first

quatrain of Let Me Not states that true love can never change: "…love

is not love which alters when alteration findes…" In the second

quatrain he uses the term "wandring barke" to discuss how love guides

the lost and the lonely. Even though we get old and die, true love

will sustain is what the third quatrain is about when he says, "…love

not alters not with his breefe houres and weekes but beares it out

even to the...

... middle of paper ...

...this by saying "Thy eternall Sommer shall not

fade" and makes it more romantic. The beauty of summer reinforces her

beauty in the poem, because she is so much more beautiful than a

summer's day and he is admiration of her beauty.

Both poems convey love in different ways. Shall I Compare Thee is more

light hearted and romantic and is mainly about confessing how much

love he has for a certain woman. Let Me Not however is more serious

and philosophical but also romantic in the way that he is stating how

love should be, what love is, and what love is not. I prefer Shall I

Compare Thee to Let Me Not because Shall I Compare Thee is more

cheerful and happy and the love that he claims to the person in the

sonnet is passionate. Let Me Not is about love in general, Shall I

Compare Thee is to a lover and is the ideal love poem.
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