The Idea of Love in Sonnet 18 and Good Morrow by William Shakespeare and John Donne

The Idea of Love in Sonnet 18 and Good Morrow by William Shakespeare and John Donne

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John Donne and William Shakespeare are each notorious for their brilliant poetry. William Shakespeare is said to be the founder of proper sonnets, while John Donne is proclaimed to be the chief metaphysical poet. Each poet has survived the changing centuries and will forever stand the test of time. Although both John Donne and William Shakespeare share a common theme of love in their poems, they each use different tactics to portray this underlying meaning. With a closer examination it can be determined that Donne and Shakespeare have similar qualities in their writing.
John Donne and William Shakespeare shared similar ideas to depict the theme of love in “Sonnet 18” and “The Good-Morrow”. Both Donne and Shakespeare used the concept of eternal love in their poems, but with slightly different perspectives. John Donne establishes the idea of eternal love by saying that his lover’s bodily fluids mixed with his create the perfect match. In other words, through coitus they become a whole perfect person free from death. “Love so alike that none do slacken, none can die.” (Donne 1374). On the other hand, Shakespeare establishes the idea of eternal love through his own poetry. “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.” (Shakespeare 1173). Shakespeare, conceitedly, is determined that his poetry will last for centuries. As long as mankind can read, people will always know of their love. Shakespeare also establishes the concept of eternal love through summer. “But thy eternal summer shall not fade,” (Shakespeare 1173). Summers are eternal just like his love. Each of the poems also share the idea of temporary ownership. In “The Good-Morrow” John Donne makes a reference to the “Seven Sleepe...


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...d rhyming quatrains. The only difference being Donne uses triplets in between the quatrains and Shakespeare does not. Instead, he places a doublet at the very end of the poem. Both poets use the non-quatrains for philosophical interpretations. Donne uses the quatrains to describe the physicality of the partner’s love and the triplets to describe the deeper non-physical connection the pair shares. Shakespeare uses the quatrains to create the story of an imaginary lover and the doublet to create a poem within a poem. They stand out among the rest of the poem because they are a rhymed pair directly following quatrains. Shakespeare did this to prove his confidence in his own success. “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,” (Shakespeare 1173). Although the poems show differences in their build both portray a central theme of love through there given structure.



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