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Critical Essay 1 Revision

Critical Essay 1 Revision - Thomas Nagler Roy English 172...

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Thomas Nagler Roy – English 172 Tuesday, September 29, 2010 Even Less Controllable Than Time “There is no happiness in comfort, happiness is brought by suffering.” – Dostoevsky Feelings of suffering and comfort often result from acquiring or losing some form of love. For decades, artists, authors, and philosophers alike have interpreted love within two boundaries: what love truly is, and how love’s activity and inactivity affects the lives of individuals. The two limits interconnect after careful consideration and from them one understands that love is not only an idea, but an ideal. Shakespeare and Millay’s poems explore, interpret and express their feelings on love within these two different boundaries. Their views do not restrict love to acting solely upon a couple, but rather propose that love’s nature has the ability and power to sustain itself within a single individual and in turn, change them. The two poets employ the use of extended metaphor, a comparative structure, and dramatic persona to define love and convey how it can affect an individual. There are two principle beliefs about love: that love occurs or represents a relationship between two people and therefore, that love can be existent or non-existent depending on each situation. Neither poet rejects that love occurs between two individuals, but in their poems, they propose that love has equal influence and strength on a singular level as well and is indestructible. To elaborate on this proposition, Shakespeare and Millay use extended metaphor. Shakespeare, in the second quatrain, describes that love is “an ever fixéd mark,” (Shakespeare, ln.5). That, like the North Star to “every wand’ring bark,” (Shakespeare, ln.7) love will always remain as a guiding light and a sense of hope. Millay distinguishes between a life with active love, and one with
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quiescent love. She compares life with inactive love to a “lonely tree” (Millay, ln 9) in winter, that knows not of what birds have “vanished” (Millay, ln 10), but only knows of the emptiness it can now feel. Through extended metaphor, Millay, at first glance, seems to be presenting a loveless life, so destitute that the only feeling is that of emptiness. In truth, Millay only begins to expose love’s eternal influence upon life.
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Critical Essay 1 Revision - Thomas Nagler Roy English 172...

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