Comparative analysis of poems by W.Blake and W. Shakespeare Someone has said that everything genial is very simple. However, some people would also argue that the more difficult the poem is, the more valuable it becomes to the reader. In their poems, both William Blake and William Shakespeare were able to unite simplicity of expressions and complication of symbols into two beautiful poems. These poems are rather different, if compared to each other, as are their composers. William Blake, an English poet and artist, infused his poetry with mysticism and complex symbolism. Even his earliest collection of youthful verse Poetical Sketches, including a poem To Winter, is full of unusual objects, symbols and transitions. William Shakespeare disclosed his poetical nature in his famous sonnets. Following tradition of courtly love poems, depicted a pure love, poet often contrasted it with real life. His sonnet 73 is considered to be one of the best examples for this issue.
In his sonnet That time in year thou mayst in me behold William Shakespeare is concerned with human life. William Blake, on the contrary, is occupied with a description of eternity with no reference to a person. William Shakespeare describes a time that sooner or later comes to everyone. Sometimes it seems that everything is done, and there is nothing left to live for, and only yellow leaves, or none, or few are still hanging. However, the author is sure that there is one reason that is worth living for. He is predicting a time, the twilight of such a day, when everything is changed and he perceives the glowing of such fire, which only a young man is able to feel. In this poem he addresses a young man, who is inexperienced, but is already looking for a reason to live.
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The author states that love is the glowing experience of the soul, and it is the only thing one cannot forgo. In this poem there are two eternal things, which follow the person through his whole life – death and love. They are given to people from the very birth and remain their only belongings after their lives fads away. Love for William Shakespeare is the only sense of life, his only passion and his final devotion. There is no place for love, passion or other feelings, but for mysticism in William Blakes poem To Winter. In this poem the author personifies winter by treating it as if it were a living being. People tend to animate everything they are afraid of.
Blake is afraid of winters might and he respects it. For him winter is adamantine and the north belongs to it. However, the poet understands that winter is not a friend to him. It is dark and isolated, – built thou dark Deep-founded habitation, so that nobody can reach it. Silence reigns where it lives and nothing can shake its roofs or bend its iron cars pillars. Looking at these verses readers understand how small people are against eternity. Speaker is trying to talk to winter, but there is no response and there is only yawning deep.
His storms are unchained, sheathed In ribbed steel, I dare not lift mine eyes; For he hath reared his scepter o’er the world. The arms of the winter are released and that scares the poet so much that he is even not going to take a look at what is going on. The speaker acknowledges that the time of winter has come. Winter does not have a heart or soul. Inside it is hollow and silent, and it freezes up life so easily and accurately. However, everything in life has its own turn, and now it is time for heaven to smile and to drive away the monster to its caves beneath mount Hecla.
In order to have a complete view of both of these poems, it is necessary to pay attention to the details, which are delivering authors feelings and create a mood for the reader. From the very beginning of To Winter the reader is depressed by the picture of mighty and merciless nature. The first two lines of the verse seem to sound very solemnly, due to the usage of bright epithet adamantine doors, but the presence of dark deep-founded habitation and iron car in the end of the verse makes the whole picture for the reader to be oppressive. Shakespeares sonnet begins with colorful details, represented with yellow leaves, which do hang and symbolize an exhausted life. However, it does not bring a feeling of loneliness to the reader. The second verse of To Winter gives a feeling of vulnerability. An epithet yawning deep and metaphor storms sheathed in ribbed steel shows all the helplessness of a person against the eternity. In the second verse Shakespeare does not use any epithets except for black night and uses the word death to indicate the opposite side of life.
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Due to many used adjectives Blakes poem seems to be very active, while sonnet is reminding of a one philosophical thought with logical conclusion. In the third verse the author applies a detailed specification by using the expression skin clings to his strong bones, which brings a thorough sounding to the verse and impresses the reader very much. However, the idea of To Winter is not very stable and the authors thoughts are ambiguous. This can testify for the immaturity of the poet. Shakespeares though, in contrast, is very clear and easy to follow. Again, the usage of the death-bed brings a sad shade to the poem. According to previous traditions of writing, the poem To Winter ends up with words yelling, caves, and mount Hecla, which are to used to restore the mood of the poem in readers memory.
Although poems described above differ in their mood, technical characteristics, poetical touch and purpose, both of them are the brightest examples of their genres. In every single line of each poem, in every word great poets remained themselves: William Blake mysterious and spontaneous, William Shakespeare solid and untouched. Experienced reader may notice that the authors have not tried to create one more example of poetry, but to express their feelings in the unique and beautiful way, the way of poem. Works sited: Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2002 Techniques for poetry analysis and discussion http://www.pfmb.uni-mb.si/eng/dept/eng/poetry/text /techniqu.htm Poetry Analysis: A quick reference http://www.stemnet.nf.ca/~hblake/poetryan.html.
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