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Across Borders of Time: Treatment of Love as a Theme in Shakespeares Sonnet 18
This 5-page undergraduate essay examines three authors treatment of the theme of love across time. Specifically, this essay compares and contrasts the ways that Shakespeares Sonnet 18" (1609), Elizabeth Barrett Brownings How Do I Love Thee? (1850) and Denise Levertovs Love Poem (1978) negotiate the subject of love. This essay suggests that Barrett Brownings and Shakespeares sonnets present a more rational and controlled depiction of love within contexts, while Levertovs free verse poem depicts a vision of love which is allowed to include potentially controversial subjects, such as sexuality and religion. Barrett Brownings Victorian poem concerns a listing of the possible ways to love someone, and ends with a declaration that love continues after death. Shakespeares Elizabethan sonnet considers comparing the love object to a summers day, but finds that such a comparison is problematic because of the changeability of summer. The poem concludes by noting that the speakers poem will immortalize the love object. Levertovs poem uses suggests the things that the love object gives in their relationship. The three texts are obviously quite different in their treatments of their theme. All three love poems, however, suggest the links between love and nature, as well as love and transcendence.