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Compare And Contrast Sir Phillip Sidney's Astrophil And Stella (Sonnet # 47) And William Shakespeare's Sonnet # 1

2457 words - 10 pages

The Strange Thing Called LoveDespite the complexity of the sonnets that William Shakespeare and Sir Philip Sidney create, one is left with a feeling of total admiration for the rich language in each poem that forces its reader to pay very close attention to detail. The sonnets differ in the focus of metaphors for love and how this passion affects the poets; however, both of the poems intrigue their audience through their integration of ornate imagery in their portrayal of beauty and love.There is perhaps no collection of English poetry more widely known and praised than Shakespeare's Sonnets. His brilliant ability to create over 150 sonnets, containing a series of related and mutually revealing metaphors has captivated his readers' minds for centuries. According to Murray Kreiger, "Shakespeare has a method of creating constitutive symbols in one sonnet and, having earned his right to them there, transferring them whole to another sonnet, with their full burden of borrowed meaning, earned elsewhere. Thus a creative symbol in one sonnet becomes a sign, part of the raw materials in another" (73). As it briefly touches on many gripping ideas of love, the opening sonnet serves as a model for setting tone and acquainting the readers with the style of the series to follow, giving the readers a taste of what to expect:From fairest creature we desire to increase,That thereby beauty's rose might never die,Fairest creatures represent all of those who are considered the most beautiful beings. Shakespeare reminds the man he loves of the need to preserve his beauty through procreation. Shakespeare writes this sonnet for a beautiful man whom he is in love with. He urges this man to follow the principle of reproduction and the improvement of one's generation, choosing the "fairest", or the most beautiful mates. Using an agricultural metaphor he refers to an increase in harvest, by which one seed of corn becomes many. "The best stock must always be used in breeding, otherwise there is an overall decline and failure in productivity" (Oxquarry). The beauty's rose is a symbol of all objects considered aesthetic, therefore implying that reproduction between the most beautiful beings is the only way to preserve one's beauty. Shakespeare discusses the importance of keeping the beauty alive and places great importance on improving it from generation to generation. The underlying theme of these two lines is the general greatness of immortality of beauty.But as the riper should by time deceaseHis tender heir might bear his memory:The noun "riper" refers to the one who has already matured, someone older who is ready to harvest, or in other words yield more crops. And the phrase "by time decease" means that the riper is going to die at some point and time. This line can also mean that the person has already reached his peak and has "ripened" or matured. Since rotting is the next and final step after something has ripened, this statement implies that the cycle of life is...

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