Poetry Comparison between Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare and Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden

Essay by plynn44 April 2003

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Sonnet 116 was written by William Shakespeare (1564-1616). He was born into a middle-class English family in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England. In 1588 he moved to London to become an actor and a playwright. During his writing career, he wrote 150 sonnets, as well as 38 plays. He is generally considered to be the finest poet and playwright in the English language.

"Funeral Blues" was written by Winston Hugh Auden (1907-1973), Anglo-American poet, playwright, and literary critic. Auden was born in York, England, the son of a doctor. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford University, where he studied Natural Science, before changing to studying English.

The theme of "Sonnet 116" is saying that; real and true love will stand the test of time and that it will be there through thick and thin, and is the only love worth pursuing. It coveys what love is and is not, by putting "love" on these two extremes, he creates an atmosphere to the poem, which emphasizes the true definition of love.

The theme in the first quatrain tells me that love is a growing process which is gradually built upon from a strong friendship.

The poem follows the usual structure of a sonnet which gives it a more sophisticated look, and gives the impression that the poet has reflected on the subject matter. The Sonnet has a regular rhyming scheme with every other line rhyming apart from the rhyming cuplet at the end. This gives the sonnet a very even beat and regular rhythm which I find is very relaxing and very soothing to the heart.

There are many messages conveyed throughout the poem which I find very true, realistic and something which I now think about. The most important of these is found in the third quatrain...