Monday, February 7, 2011

A Change in View

In William Shakespeare’s poem, My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun, he compares his lover’s aspects to parts of nature. He says that her eyes don’t shine like the sun, her lips are pale, her skin is dull, and her hair is wiry. He continues to say her breath smells bad and her voice is not as pleasing as music. After having seemingly put down his lover’s physical appearance, he says although she can’t compare to the beauty of nature, she is more beautiful than any woman that a poet has ever written about using such comparisons.

In an excerpt from the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, the reader learns that Liz is spending time in Rome after returning from Venice, before traveling to India. She is trying to find a city where she feels comfortable and will fit in. She doesn’t believe that Rome is her city because there is constant thought of glamour and sex permeating the city and that does not suit her dressed-down style. Towards the end of the excerpt, Liz gives into the thoughts of sex and buys a myriad of lingerie items. She doesn’t know why she buys them and begins to think of reasons.

Lastly, in the poem When I consider how my light is spent by John Milton, the author is trying to get through a period of confusion. He has recently lost his vision and doesn’t understand his place in the world. He believes that he will be damned if he becomes stagnant due to his disability, but he cannot do the work he is best at. After taking time and being patient, he realizes that God doesn’t need anything from him. There are billions of people with vision who can serve him in a way Milton can’t, but he can best serve by waiting ready to hear God when he is called.

These three works all share a common theme of perspective. When the problems were originally stated, they seemed harsh and insurmountable. In Shakespeare’s poem, he changed what looked like a severe criticism into a laud of his lover’s beauty in comparison to all the women in the world. Elizabeth Gilbert doesn’t think that she will ever fit into a place, but begins to unconsciously feel comfortable to the ways of a city of love. Finally, Milton is able to give meaning to his life after a horrible tragedy. He finds reason to live and continue in his work.

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