The Theme of Love in Poetry

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The Theme of Love in Poetry

Love is a very common theme in poetry. By closely examining the ways

in which two poets(one must be pre 1900) have explored this theme.

Show what you have found to be similar/different in their handling of

this theme.

Many people have different views on love. Many of these views

throughout the ages are explored through poetry as love has much

contemporary relevance in today's society as it ever did before. Two

love poems I read which inspired me were Shakespeare's 'Sonnet 116'

and Carol-Anne Duffy's 'Valentine'. Shakespeare's poem is a

traditional sonnet written in the late 1660's Renaissance period when

at this time love was not a discussed topic in society. The people of

society married for money or business purposes, which Shakespeare

strongly disapproved of. This may have been a factor, which led

Shakespeare to write this poem. The structure of 'Sonnet116' is

typical of poetry in the Renaissance period.

The first line establishes the tone as already having something

defensive about it - reinforced by the negative definitions of the

first quatrain-. "Let me not to the marriage of true minds... love is

not love/ Which alters when it alteration finds..." The poem begins

telling of what love is not. It denies the short-term everyday image

of love and believes love is a very special and unique thing. This

gains the reader's attention immediately. The tone throughout

'Sonnet116' is ever changing bringing an exciting development to the

poem. "Let me not to the marriage of true minds/ Admit impediments."

The poem implies difficulties, while arguing that they do not exist,

really.Shakespeare presents...

... middle of paper ...

...hows the dangerous side of love. A

knife is 'natural' and harmless in its association with an onion - but

it now carries over into something a little unplaced in its

association with love - suggesting something of Love's ability to

damage and hurt others. It emphases the lethal and complicated effect

and problems it can create. The Poem not clearly conclusive but ends

with implied threat - kitchen knife may become a weapon for a jealous

lover. We know this is a possibility as other language in the poem is

sharp at times and has a threatening element such as the word

'lethal'. The verb 'cling' implies the lingering of feelings or the

lingering of a jealous lover wanting to be close by and the

possibility of a threat that if they can not have love then they wont

want anybody else to have what they think should be theirs.
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