The Nature of Love from Millay and Shakespeare

Essay by JP1000High School, 11th gradeA+, November 2008

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Downloaded 12 times

“Passage I,” by Edna St. Vincent Millay, and “Passage II, by William Shakespeare, both describe the true nature of love. Edna St. Vincent Millay describes love as something that will lead to death. William Shakespeare describes love as a fever that makes one ill. Both these poems clearly show that the nature of love is so strong that people want to break away from it. In Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem, the nature of love is mainly described as dangerous and something that can cause death. Millay uses several literary elements to express her idea of love. One of these elements includes imagery. She shows how love can be unpredictable by describing love as a “green fire.” She uses this term because the color green is not usually associated with the color of fire. Millay also uses the description of love as “shimmering ice-bergs.” This gives the reader a sense that love can also be cold and fierce.

Lastly, Millay describes love as lighting and a sword striking incessantly. This is a very vivid depiction of love because the reader can immediately get a picture of how painful love can be. In her line, “Mist, shadow, silence-these are lovely, too,” Millay shows that she prefers a softer, milder love. Millay also uses metaphors in her depiction of love. Phrases such as “peaks of love,” stand out in the poem. Millay describes love as a mountain in this implied metaphor. By choosing to describe love as a mountain, she gives the reader an image of love as jagged and sharp. Also, by using the term “peaks,” Millay tries to get the reader to understand that love is like a mountain where one is so high up that it is easy to fall. Love, she says, has a part whose name is...