Comparing Shakespeare's 'Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day' and Burns' 'A Red Red Rose'

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Poetry Comparison There are certain themes and ideas which appear over and over again in literature, no matter what the genre or form. Poems which were written centuries apart can echo similar ideas about life and humanity. Love is one such theme which presents itself repeatedly as seen in the poetry of William Shakespeare and that of Robert Burns. Each poem, though written more than two hundred years apart, explains what it feels like for the poet to feel love for the singular object of their affection. The poem "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day" by Shakespeare and Burns' "A Red, Red Rose" share common images and themes with the intention of instilling in the reader the impression of their love and in explaining the depth of their emotion for the beloved as well as the respective poets ideas about the very nature of love and how it can be both passionately fulfilling and devastating. William Shakespeare's 18 Sonnet, more popularly known as the "Shall I Compare Thee" sonnet, is about a lover who is speaking to his beloved. Most sonnets serve this same function; to profess love from the sonneteer to some individual whom he loves. In these poems, the lover always uses the most amazing adjectives to describe the woman, or sometimes the man, that he loves. The poet describes every component of his beloved, such as her hair and her lips and her eyes. Although not a sonnet, Robert Burns' poem has the same function; it is a love poem from the unnamed narrator to the

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