Saturday, May 14, 2011

Milton, Shakespeare and Gilbert

Both masters of the sonnet, John Milton and William Shakespeare are renowned for their different styles of writing; Milton tends to have more religious subjects, whereas Shakespeare more often than not regales the reader with exclamations of his love. In “When I consider how my light is spent” by Milton, he laments the loss of his eyesight in that he feels he can no longer write as well, and writing was his service to God. He is at first puzzled with why God would take away something so crucial to his gift, and give him such obstacles to continue writing for Him, yet finds reasoning in that God does not need John to write, though he does so anyway. He then views his loss as a test, and assesses that his works will now be more valuable to God since it takes more trouble to

create them now.

Shakespeare, on the other hand, chooses to encapsulate his idea of love within the sonnet “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”; in his era, authors were famed for their flowery prose and descriptions of lovers that seemed as if they were divinity personified. Shakespeare utilizes the poem to poke fun at these authors, implying that if they feel the need to build up their lovers to more than they truly are physically, they must not love them as much as Shakespeare loves his “dark lady.” He points out each of her faults in the poem, and realistically compares her physical features to descriptions utilized by many of the more flowery writers, and sums up the sonnet by citing that though his mistress may not be perfect, he loves her unconditionally regardless.

We also read a piece by Elizabeth Gilbert monikered "One Word"; this piece ties together both Gilbert and Shakespeare's views on love and spirituality, and details the struggle to find a balance between the two.

No comments:

Post a Comment