To His Coy Mistress Comparison with Sonnet 43

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‘To His Coy Mistress’ is a comedic depiction of unrequited love, showing how love can be represented in a light-hearted way whilst communicating the deeper significance of what it means to feel this way about someone. Likewise, ‘Sonnet 43’ presents us with a serious topic, portrayed in a carefree way. ‘To His Coy Mistress’ is set into three stanzas of unequal length, each showing a new stage in the relationship. The beginnings of each stanza are a giveaway as to what we should expect from it. ‘Had we’ tells us that the persona is fantasising about what could happen, and that the images created here have in fact not happened yet. ‘But we’, shows that there is a set back to the plan, in the form of lack of time. ‘Now therefore’ presents a solution to the previously mentioned problem, giving his lover no excuse not to return his love. The idea that there is a plan in the persona’s head is humourous, informing the reader of his extreme keenness. In contrast, ‘Sonnet 43’ is set out like a typical Shakespearean sonnet, 14 lines in a metre called ‘iambic pentameter’ which is when the first syllable is unstressed, followed by a stressed syllable, this pattern repeated five times making up the line. A sonnet comes from the italian word sonetto meaning ‘little song’, reinforcing the light-hearted feel of the poem. Both poems share the strong theme of love and admiration. In ‘To His Coy Mistress’, the persona uses comparisons and extremes to show the extent of his admiration for his ‘coy mistress’. By comparing his lover to the ‘Indian Ganges’, and himself to the ‘Humber’, a considerably less desirable river, he attempts to win her over with flattery, creating an entertaining image for the reader. Similarly, in ‘Sonnet 43’, Browning continues the theme of flattery, by listing the many ways in which she ‘loves thee’, except in this poem, there is no contrast, her sole aim

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