Critical Analysis of "Love Is Not All".

Essay by rermisUniversity, Bachelor'sA, July 2003

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Love is More Than Meat and Drink

This sonnet attempts to convey to the reader that love is not tangible, though it is necessary for life and well being. It investigates situations of pain and misfortune and find none where love would make any difference. "Love Is Not All", explains that love is not a necessity, but that it's absence will cause a man to exist closer to death. Love is not an object, an act, a spirit, or a thought; it is a silent motivater of life.

From "Love Is Not All", we can gather that love is intangible, powerful, and helpful to only a man's soul. The octet only gives us one perspective, but gives one important fact at its end. Love may sustain our lives. We are told that the lack of love may lead to death. Love is a necessity for life; therefore, it is only of importance to a man's soul.

This is proved by examples that give settings where a tangible factor would be of assistance, but love would not. Love is not a food or drink. It cannot guard against the rain, or save drowning men. It cannot bring life to those that are dead nor repair a broken bone. Even though love may be intangible, and seem unimportant at times, it is essential for life.

The sestet gives a different perspective, showing the writer's value of love, and the lengths the writer would go to, to preserve it. The sestet adds a new idea to the sonnet, that leaves us with proof that love is more than meat or drink, although it is neither. The writer resists trading anything for love, showing how much it is of value to him. Love is powerful because the writer refuses to trade anything in place of it. The writer refuses to sell love for peace, even if he were in extreme pain, or even if it were against his past resolutions to do so. He is also tempted to trade his memories of a night for food. It well may be that he might trade these things for love, but the last line comforts us in saying that he does not think he would. It is predictable for the writer to not trade love for these factors, since he wrote in the octet that the lack of love would lead to death. The writer then, unintentionally proves the last point made in the octet by having the sestet prove he would sell love for nothing. The writer would dare not trade love, in fear that the loss of love would cause death.

Love is intangible and the lack of love would lead to death. Even if tempted by pleasurable things, no sane man would trade love for something other. Love is a powerful spirit of life.