Sonnet 130 and Passionate Shepherd To His Love
In William Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 and Christopher Marlowe's The Passionate Shepherd To His Love, the themes of unconditional love, opulent treasures, and vivid imagery are
all conveyed throughout the poems but through different point of views.
The theme of unconditional love is expressed through the two poems. The poet proclaims his affection for her by telling his "love" that he will give her anything in the world if she would
just be with him. "And if these pleasures may thee move, come live with me, and be my love." His words show that he is willing to do anything and everything for her by giving her "a gown made of the finest wool" or even "coral clasps and amber studs" just for her to "live with him and be my (his) love." However, the poet knows that he can not give her these offerings because the gifts that he is willing to give her are merely tokens of exaggerations and are listed to show his beloved that this is how much he wants her. Whereas in Sonnet 130, the poet is earnest and truthful in what he writes about his love. "I love to hear her speak, yet well I know that music hath a far more pleasing sound, yet, I think my love as rare as any she belied with false compare." This shows his honesty in speaking about his object of affection, yet he achieves the same sense of unconditional love that the poet in Marlowe's poem tries to delineate without using embellishments. The speaker in Sonnet 130 doesn't hyperbolize about his "rare" love using a plethora of exaggerations to portray his fondness for his "mistress" as the poet in Marlowe's poem did. Even though the two poems have the theme as unconditional love, the portrayals of it are achieved th...
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Nevertheless, in Sonnet 130, the persona uses imagery of her physical appearance to show his love. The poet in Sonnet 130 does not use imagery of riches but uses commonplace substances to reveal his love for her. "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; coral is far more red than her lips' red" and then he discusses how even though she is just an average woman, he loves her with all his heart. Although the two poets uses different elements to express their love, the meaning of their devotion for their loved ones are portrayed eminently.
Even though the two poems express the themes of unconditional love, opulent treasures, and vivid imagery, they have differences within their similarities. These similarities and differences within the poems not only make the themes more lucid, but they also help to show the intent of the poets' writings.
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