Comparing Love Poems Essay

Meaka Brown Brown 1 English 1102 Mon. /Wed. 12:30 “Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds” by Shakespeare Compared with “Why Should A Foolish Marriage Vow” by John Dryden As a female I enjoy reading poems about love or marriage. In “Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds” Shakespeare is optimistic about marriage and believes that love will not become any less throughout time. “Why Should a Foolish Marriage Vow” by John Dryden has a different opinion towards the love in this marriage poem.

In this poem the married couple is no longer in love and they are now suffering. Shakespeare’s poem portrays that love is forever and that it cannot be disfigured over time. He illustrates the love as a “fixed mark” a metaphor to the North Star which can never be shaken. “Loves not Times fool, though rosy lips and cheeks” acknowledges that time has the power to change the human body but the love will not be undermined. According to Shakespeare love of the “true minds” will bear it out even at the worst times.

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The first three stanzas in the poem are quatrains and the last is a couplet and it may be the strongest statement that backs up his opinion about marrying for love. “If this is an error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved” the speaker implies that he is so sure of what he believes about the nature of true love that if he is wrong, than he never wrote and no man has ever loved. His view is idealistic and he knows he has written and that people have loved. Brown 2 Unlike Shakespeare’s poem, Dryden uses a different approach about love and marriage.

His poem is much more realistic. In this particular marriage the love is no longer there and the speaker believes the couple involved would be much happier if they went separate ways. “But our marriage is dead, when the pleasure is fled: ‘Twas pleasure first made it an oath” here the speaker depicts that the marriage was brought on by the pleasure that is no longer there. The second part of the poem illustrates that the married couple is no longer in love and will only bring each other pain. The speaker wants to end the marriage so that the husband and wife can find love somewhere else.

The poets clearly have opposite views of marriage. Shakespeare’s poem is more traditional and he gushes about how the love is going to last an eternity. Dryden’s poem disagrees with Shakespeare’s he chose to write about a couple who no longer gave each other pleasure. He illustrates that the marriage should end so the unhappy couple could go their own ways and possibly find someone different to love. I found Dryden’s poem to be refreshing and idealistic and I prefer it over Shakespeare’s work. I can only wish that Shakespeare was correct because that would be lovely and would give a young adult like myself hope about marriage.


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