NCERT Solutions for Class 11th: Ch 2 Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds Woven Words Poetry English
Compass: Time range
Constancy is not just the theme of the poem but also it is the most important thing in any and every relationship. In the poem, there are many such phrases that express this quality. A few of the expressions are listed below.
1. Love is not love which alters
2. Love is not love which … bends
3. It is an ever-fixed mark
4. Never shaken
5. Love's not time's fool
"Negatives" are an effective tool to prove one's point. It highlights the other side of the coin to bring home the positive points of the statement very effectively. In this case the poet puts forward all the negative aspects that love is taken for, and then argues that love is something permanent and beyond physical beauty.
It implies that if the poet is proved wrong about these thoughts on love, then he will recant all that he has written, and no man has ever loved.
It is not surprising that Shakespeare has chosen love as the subject and has not involved human agents. The reason for his choice is obvious and it the underlying theme of the poem, the fickle nature of humans. However, the love, and eternal being, is constant. Hence, the poet when talked of all the qualities that love embodies and should be sans of, he chose love itself and not a human, whose emotions and sentiments undergo frequent changes. Shakespeare should be appreciated for his understanding of human nature and thus a wise decision made by him in his composition.
(a) Compass is considered as a symbol of eternity. However, in the poem, it represents the change that a relationship goes through as it grows, old and less intense. How a man's love for his young beloved grows less as he gave value to beauty over the spiritual love. Though the love never dies, the physical beauty of a lover may fade and withers as it falls to time's compass' sickle.
(b) Shakespeare says that love is not at the mercy of time. True love is ageless. No matter how old a human grows, with it love grows; though the physical beauty falls prey to time's sickle. It is the constancy that holds two people in a relationship together.
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