Shakespeare’s portrayal of love in Sonnets 18 and 116, and in Romeo and Juliet

Love has changes a lot since Shakespeare’s time, these modern times love is a term used very loosely, Now everybody feels that they understand the meaning of love and all of the emotions that are involved init and even people of a young age such as 10 can say that they love a person off there own age. Where as in Shakespeare’s time they linked love with things of great importance such as religion. Through out most of his poems and sonnets Shakespeare based most of his ideas on love which has carried through into modern days.

Love was a very influential thing in his poets because it was not just love between a man and a women it was all sorts of different love such as a farther son bond which might have influenced him throughout the fair youth series. And love between a man and a woman was included which might have influenced him to write his dark lady series. Act 1 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet has many key features. One of the most important parts of Romeo and Juliet is where Romeo spots Juliet in the ball and starts to speak in soliloquy .

Whilst speaking in soliloquy Romeo says “She doth teach the torches to burn bright! ” this tells me that he believes that she is so stunningly beautiful that she is able t teach things to things that don’t need teaching. Once they start speaking they use an extended Christian metaphor of Juliet lips being a shrine and his lips being “two blushing pilgrims” which indicates to me that I those times in order to get a girl you had to make it innocent and make you attraction to the person sacred.

During this conversation Romeo took more of a commanding role whilst Juliet was putting on a front that she was not interested in him but in reality she was, fulfilling the traditions of courtly love, I know this because when Romeo calls her a shrine and compares himself to a pilgrim Juliet says “Ay, pilgrim lips that thy must use in prayer” in this she is saying get away from me but she is saying you should use your lips to pray not kiss random women I a sweet way. The sonnet form (which was introduced by Francesco patrach) was one of Shakespeare’s main ways of writing. Some of his most famous poems were written in sonnet for.

During these sonnets Shakespeare based his ideas around a number of things (this was called the sonnet cycle) the first one of the sonnet cycle is the fair youth which was based on a person in there teenage years and in these sonnets Shakespeare expresses his love for this person in a father son bond. The second one of the cycle is the dark lady, this is thought to be the lady that Shakespeare had loved but the love was unrequited meaning his love for her never blossomed. The final one was the rival poet; this was thought to be the part in the cycle where Shakespeare ridiculed other poets and calls himself the best poet of his time.

Sonnet 18 is the sonnet that contains one of Shakespeare’s most famous quote “shall I compare thee to a summers day” this quote was used right at the beginning as Shakespeare thought that a nice summers day is the most beautiful that he can think of. However on the very second line Shakespeare realises that a summer’s day is not good enough by saying “thou art more lovely and more temperate. ” This indicates how highly he thinks of his muse because he is saying even summer cant compare to her beauty.

Throughout the sonnet he goes on to tell the reader about the other imperfections that summer. For example Shakespeare says “and often his gold complexion dimm’d” which shows that his muse is reliable unlike the sun which can behind the clouds at any time. At the end of the sonnet Shakespeare makes a bold claim saying as long there are people on the earth and those people can see and read that’s how long his love for his muse shall exist, Shakespeare make these kinds of claims at the end of every sonnet and every claim was as bold as the next

By the sonnet number I can assume that this sonnet is part of the fair youth series which tells me that the sonnet could be a sonnet which talks about the love shared between a father and a son. Similarly to sonnet 18 sonnets 116 is also talking about the idea of love being perfect and never ending. Throughout the whole sonnet Shakespeare talks about love in its most perfect form and how a person is supposed to truly love a person. However unlike in sonnet 18 Shakespeare does not talk about the idea of his muse being beautiful but he talks about the other essences of love such as the pruty of it and what it means to love a person.

In the first line of sonnet 116 Shakespeare calls love “the marriage of true minds” this shows that love has the same characteristics of a marriage. He uses this metaphor of love being a marriage of true minds because he is trying to say that if the love is true then it is just like a marriage in the respect that if two people are In love then they will love each other for better and for worse; in sickness and in health. This indicates that Shakespeare is trying to say if you claim that you are truly in love with a person then you should be able to get married to them.

Also Shakespeare says “love is not love which alter when alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove” this means that Shakespeare feels that a person does not truly love another person if they stop loving a person when they find a change in circumstances, for example in modern days a person can say they have fallen in love with someone when the person is rich and as soon as the money goes they say that they no longer love a person.

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