Monday, February 7, 2011

love, light, and life

In the sonnet, My mistress’ eyes are noting like the sun, William Shakespeare expresses his unconventional love to his beloved in a mocking way. By comparing the appearance of his mistress to universally known beauties such as the sun, the coral, the roses, the perfumes, and a goddess, Shakespeare indicates that although his mistress may not be as beautiful, he still loves her regardless. This comparison is also shown by the rhythm ababcdcdefefgg. By doing so, Shakespeare also suggests that a woman’s beauty cannot be compared to these natural beauties because they are so different in form. Thus, men who do say their mistresses are as pretty as the sun, etc, are lying. In comparison, Shakespeare stays true and honest to his love. He does not attempt to hide her commonness or try to make her ought to be someone she is not. The speaker therefore by mocking her shows his deep love for his mistress.

Whereas William Shakespeare implies that some aspects of life are out of control, such as one’s appearance, John Milton makes a similar note in his poem, When I consider how my light is spent. The speaker suggests that since his fate, becoming blind is not within his control, he should turn to God and relay on his faith. Milton describes death as a useless talent because he does not have the courage to die. Rather, he should use this courage to overcome obstacles to better serve the lord and to present Him what he is truly worth, that is, continues to write in spite of his lack of eyesight. Milton continues by asking whether or not God needs his work. Although the answer is no, he does point out that those thousands who serve God will also serve those who wait and who do not complaint. Therefore, his strong faith in God is what he needs to get him through this dark period of his life.

Similar to John Milton, Elizabeth Gilbert also questions her life in the short chapter, One Word. The main question that is being addressed in the reading is the author’s search of who she is and whom she is living for. When asked about the one word that defines her, Gilbert does not have an answer. She came up a few and ruled out a couple, yet fails to arrive at a final conclusion. More importantly, she inquires why she is searching for an answer in the first place. If having an answer is to answer someone else’s question, then Gilbert does not even know whom she is giving an answer to. It is only after she realizes that, the author begins to reflect inward to find herself.

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