“Emphasise how the language and structure of guidance and idealism of ‘If-‘ and ‘Sonnet 116’ emphasise the key themes”
‘If-‘ and ‘Sonnet 116’ although written during completely different eras portray similarities in terms of the themes of guidance and idealism although in differing ways. Themes in poetry help people interpret life and can be expressed through different language and structural techniques for emphasis. Kipling’s ‘If-‘ antithetically advises that “If you can dream” as well as “think” or meet “Triumph and Disaster” then you will be a “Man”, the personification reinforces the idea that they are real life decisions. The poem is written with a theme of guidance so that you will find middle ground between all of the conflict and it inspires you to take risks as our identity is heavily put down to the decisions that we make. ‘Sonnet 116’ metaphorically explains using a synecdoche that love is the “star to every wandering bark”, a physical and moral guide. Within a simple decasyllabic line it implies that we are all lost ships and love contains the capacity to guide us like the North Star and help us make the correct decisions. ‘If-‘ imperatively advises you to ‘walk with kings’ but to not ‘lose the common touch’ expressing idealism. It is important to make the ideal decisions within the conflict and as the poem is one whole conditional sentence it portrays how we have the ability to grow into better people if we find the idealistic middle ground, addressing both our material and psychological self. ‘Sonnet 116’ metaphorically describes that marriage is not a formal contract consisting of just a legal bond but a “marriage of true minds” implying a deep understanding and connection between two people, thus Shakespeare’s whole idea of marriage within this sonnet is very idealistic and transcendent. There is an antithesis as the marriage described consists of equality and faithfulness but the conventional idea of marriage during Shakespearean...
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