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“How Do The Two Poems “Sonnet 130” By William Shakespeare And “Valentine” By Carol Ann Duffy Present The Theme Of Love?”

1584 words - 7 pages

The two poems “Sonnet 130” and “Valentine” present similar ideas about love, though they are written centuries apart. Sonnet 130 (written by William Shakespeare) is like a love poem turned on its head. Instead of describing her in a positive light, he criticise her physical features. He describes the flaws of her body, her smell, even the sound of her voice. Then, at the end, he changes his tune and tells us about his real and complete love for her. Valentine (written by Carol Ann Duffy) describes a gift for a lover; such as you would give on Valentine’s Day. It is a rather unusual present – an onion. The poem explains why it is a powerful gift of love, much more than the clichéd roses or ...view middle of the document...

Sonnet 130 has a more thoughtful and considerate tone to it, but it also develops a bitterness of love. This is shown by Shakespeare says, “Black wires grow on her head.” He is trying to state that his lover has not been blessed with great features, in this case hair. Also, he is trying to further develop his point that she is not perfect and he is quite blunt and harsh in tone here. This is shown here when Shakespeare says “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare.” This shows that he appreciates her and is proud and happy to be with her, despite criticising and being quite cynical about her physical features. This shows how both poems strive to tell a less glamorous view of love.
Furthermore, both poems use language to present the reality of love. They both take exception to a lovey-dovey, “soft and cuddly,” view of love. Valentine is very truthful about love and has a very particular view about love. This is shown in the poem when it says “not a cute card or kissogram.” This has quite a bitter tone, but she is trying to be very honest or, in this case forceful about the reality of love. That loves cannot be brought and be displayed in front of someone that is not real love. Love is truly about you on the inside and how you feel about that person, not just what you may do for someone. Carol Ann Duffy is expressing “that is not true love.” In addition Valentine also develops an upsetting view of love. This is shown when the onion is described as a “wobbling photo of grief.” This suggests that love will bring a lot of sadness and you will go through tough times as a couple or even as a family. So this depicts love in quite a gloomy way. Sonnet 130 is also very truthful about love, but it can be very surprising. Shakespeare goes against clichés to not overuse or betray a lack of original thought. Instead, when he is being quite harsh about his lover, he then says something positive, which is quite surprising in the context of the poem. This surprise is shown in the last tow sentences, when he says “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare. As any she belied with false compare.” This is basically saying “ I will ignore what she looks like on the outside, but I will judge her from the inside.” This also demonstrates that love is not all about fancying someone, because of their physical features, love is more about the personality of that person and if you really love her for what she is and she truly loves you for what you are. This shows both poems have an honest and strong, passionate view of love, which is perhaps more realistic than other views of love.
Moreover, both poems use a lot of imagery to convey the attitude and ideas of the poems. They both use similes, metaphors and sometimes personification to link their point about love to something else and give the reader the bigger picture. Valentine uses a lot of metaphors to try to express the bitterness, harsh, blunt and sometimes romantic assets of love. The poem is given quite a...

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