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Analysis of Poetry: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day

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Love is a common theme topic in many works of literature. Love today is usually expressed by saying “I love you” and/or being intimate. There are different ways that you can still let someone know that you love them. William Shakespeare shows the types of love in his work like his famous poems Romeo and Juliet and Sonnet 18. In Romeo and Juliet, love is shown as infatuation. Romeo attends a party and falls in love at first glance at Juliet. While in Sonnet 18, Shakespeare uses seasons to compare his loved one too. The poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet shows a type of love between wife and husband. ‘i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)’ by E. E. Cummings is a poem that shows love by having one’s heart in their heart, with them at all times. The poem, “Wild nights – Wild nights!” by Emily Dickinson shows love as a romantic desire to be with someone. With an informational text, “Should We Scoff at the Idea of Love at First Sight?” by James Kuzenr shows love as it can only be called true love if there is a deep connection between each other. In addition, there can be many ways to say “I love you” without really saying it.

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Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare are about two families, the Montagues, and the Capulets, that hate each other. Both had one child, Romeo Montague, and Juliet Capulet. Which fell in love with each other. In Romeo and Juliet, the love between Romeo and Juliet is shown more romantic and like an infatuation. Since they began loving each other so quickly, it is seen as an intense but short-lived passion. Romeo indeed says, “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”(Shakespeare, Act1, scene 5). After only seeing Juliet once, his heart becomes filled with love. Meaning this is love at first sight. There is parental love, Nure for Juliet. The Nurse had known Juliet since she was a baby from nursing her and watching her as she grew. The nurse brings up a memory of when Juliet was a baby. How she is sad her lady is grown and talking about marriage. “And since that time it is eleven years; For then she could stand alone; nay, by the rood, She could have run and waddled all about; For even the day before, she broke her brow….I warrant, an I should live a thousand years, I never should forget it.”(Shakespeare, Act1, scene 3). The Nurse bringing up a memory that she enjoys shows the Nurse’s love for Juliet, like a mother and daughter love. Unrequited love is also shown in Romeo and Juliet. Romeo for Rosaline and Paris for Juliet. Romeo loved Rosaline and was with sorrow that she did not love him back. “Why, such is love’s transgression, Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast”(Shakespeare, Act1, Scene 1). This is meaning that sadness is heavy in his chest “She will not stay the siege of loving terms.(Shakespeare, Act 1, Scene1). Romeo meaning that she’s not open about love. Also Pairs for Juliet. Pairs want Juliet’s hand in marriage but she does not love him and will not let herself fall for him. “But she, good soul, had as lief see a toad, a very toad, as see him.”(Shakespeare, Act 2, Scene 2). Meaning that Juliet would rather lay eyes on a toad than look at Paris.

The poem, Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare, compares seasons to his love one. The idea of love in this poem is that love is grander and more enduring than it is often compared to. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate” (Shakespeare, lines 1-2). Meaning his beloved is more beautiful than summer. Shakespeare uses figurative language to show love in an abstract way. The effect of the use of figurative language is to compare his love one to the summer and fault the summer for being harsh and short-lived. This sonnet concludes that it starts saying summer does differ from his love one. ‘But thy eternal summer shall not fade,”(Shakespeare, line 9). Saying summer will end, but his lover’s beauty will not end and that it will last forever. Then he goes on saying in the couplet, ‘So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.'(Shakespeare, line 13-14). As long people walk on this earth this poem will live on and his lover, even in death, will stay alive. This contributes to love because the Sonnet is talking about comparing summer to Shakespeare’s lover. Summer may have its bad parts although saying his lover is not like summer and is perfect.

The poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband” by Anne Bradstreet shows the love between a wife and husband. Love is shown in the beginning saying, “If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee. If ever wife was happy in a man, Compare with me, ye woman, if you can.”(Bradstreet, lines 1-4). The speaker says to the reader that if you compare yourself to me, then you and your love are happy as one. Because of their support the two lovers can be one. Not so much a romantic love here but love beyond lust. In this poem, it’s caring about each other. Showing that the speaker values her husband’s love more than anything else. “I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold, Or all the riches that the East doth hold.”(Bradstreet, lines 5-6). Wifes today can relate to the value of their husband’s love. 

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