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The Idea Of Love In Sonnet 18 And Good Morrow By William Shakespeare And John Donne

1034 words - 4 pages

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 Sleepers’ Den”. The den held children for 187 years while they slept. The speaker in “The Good-Marrow” could have meant that he wanted their love to be a secret from the outside world and only remain within the four walls they made love in. In “Sonnet 18” Shakespeare uses the word lease to show the temporary ownership summer has over the weather. “And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;” (Shakespeare 1172). Finally, there is a similar description of the object of their love. In “The Good-Morrow” the speaker is proclaiming his love to an actual human being. This human being is the lover lying next to him the morning after a rowdy night. “Sonnet 18” appears to be love poem similar to that of John Donne’s, but is in fact an allusion to himself. Shakespeare knew that people who read this would think that it was designed for his lover. The audience is tricked into developing an imaginary character. Each person who reads his sonnet recreates this character making him/her immortal. “The Good-Morrow” and “Sonnet 18” relay a message of love through similar ideas.
Shakespeare and Donne display the same theme through their tones and attitude shifts. “Sonnet 18” and “The Good-Morrow” shift tones from the beginning of the poem to...

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