In Shakespeare’s sonnet 18, Edmund Spenser’s sonnet 75 and Elizabeth Barret Browning’s sonnet 43 a key idea encompassed through all of them is the theme of love, which is portrayed using an array of language features most commonly figurative language. Shakespeare uses Figurative language to help himself portray the theme of love in sonnet 18 . “Shall I compare thee to a summers day? ” at the start of the sonnet he asks a rhetorical question too himself if he is able to compare the beauty of his lover and his love for that person through a summer’s day.
But he decides against this instead using an extended metaphor to describe just how much better this person is compared to a summers day “Thou art more lovely and temperate. ” This line in the sonnet means that this person is more lovely and constant than a summers day, he uses this extended metaphor to show exactly how much he is in love with this person, as the complete octet and two thirds of the sestet in the sonnet are dedicated to describing and making his lover sound perfect in every way.
He then uses the last two lines of the sestet to explain to his lover that even when both of them are dead and gone beyond the grave, that they will still be famous because of his sonnet describing his love for that person. “So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and gives life to thee. ” I believe that Shakespeare knew all these years ago that people will always fall in love and this is the key to this sonnet living on and in turn the person he wrote it for. In the same way Shakespeare is trying to immortalize his love through a sonnet using figurative language, Edmund Spencer does also. One day I wrote her name upon the strand, But came the waves and washed it -away” He is talking about how he is trying to write her name in the sand, but the waves a metaphor for time keep on destroying it meaning he has to do it again. “Again I tried to write it with a second hand, But came the tide, and made my pains his prey” He uses personification to make the tide sound like a predator and this helps with the visual imagery of time slowly destroying everything. This helps show truly how much he loves this women if he is willing to go against time to prove his love for her.
It shows that he does not care about things like time and will do whatever it takes to make sure his love for his partner is immortalized and that she is forever known because of it. He reinforces his eternal love for her through the use of repetition in words like fame, eternize and glorious and this helps the reader understand the kind of the love that Edmund Spenser depicted through this sonnet so long ago. Quite like sonnet 18 I believe that Edmund knew that similar love to his own would always be around even if slightly watered down and that no matter what age people were in this sonnet would remain true for the times
From the first line of Elizabeth Barret Browning’s sonnet 43 you already know she is talking about romantic love and she does this in the sonnet by using figurative language. “How do I love Thee” she starts off by asking herself a rhetorical question about the right way to love her partner, from this alone you can tell that she is deeply in love and wants to make sure she is perfect for him. She continues from there by using a metaphor to describe her love for him. “I love thee to depth and breadth and height” what she is saying through this metaphor is that she loves him in every way humanly possible for her and that she is his to love.
She incorporates repetition as a way of explaining all the romantic ways in which she loves him. “I love thee freely, as men strive for right, I love thee purely as they turn from praise… ” Because of these language features a vivid image is portrayed of her love for him, and this makes it easier to understand what kind of message she is portraying through the sonnet. To conclude sonnets 18,75 and 43 all share a key theme this theme is love. Love is depicted in all of these sonnets from the use of figurative language.
Figurative language is used as it helps give the reader a vivid image of the love portrayed through these sonnets. Sonnet 18 is about someone who has fallen in love, sonnet 75 true love and sonnet 43 romantic love. yet even though they are three different types of love displayed, all three sonnets none written by the same person all talk about how because of their sonnet their lover will forever be famous and this has remained true. As even though man is in a new era people still and will probably always be affected by the overwhelming strength of love.
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