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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    Question Tenses in Literature Analysis

    Hello! I want to know whether it is fine to use "present tense" in the review of a piece of works whose author has died.

    Here are two paragraghs I quoted from the same article about the review of the Sonnet 130 by Shakespeare. In the first paragraph, the writer uses present tense; but in the second paragragh, she/he changes to the past tense. I wonder why the writer uses "present tense" here since Shakespeare has died.

    Many thanks!

    The sonnet is generally considered a humorous parody of the typical love sonnet. Petrarch, for example, addressed many of his most famous sonnets to an idealized woman named Laura, whose beauty he often likened to that of a goddess. In stark contrast Shakespeare makes no attempt at deification of the dark lady; in fact he shuns it outright, as we see in lines 11-12: "I grant I never saw a goddess go; / My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground." Here the poet explicitly states that his mistress is not a goddess.
    However, while the narrator's honesty in sonnet 130 may seem commendable, we must not forget that Shakespeare himself was a master of the compliment and frequently made use of the very same sorts of exaggerated comparisons satirized here. We even find them elsewhere in the sonnets, and in great abundance, too; note that while his "mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun," his fair lord's indeed are, as in sonnet 49: "And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye."
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 05-Nov-2008 at 23:40.

  2. #2

    Re: Tenses in Literature Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Hello! I want to know whether it is fine to use "present tense" in the review of a piece of works whose author has died.

    Here are two paragraghs I quoted from the same article about the review of the Sonnet 130 by Shakespeare. In the first paragraph, the writer uses present tense; but in the second paragragh, she/he changes to the past tense. I wonder why the writer uses "present tense" here since Shakespeare has died.

    Many thanks!
    I'm not a teacher, but I do study English literature.

    If you're talking about the writer THEMSELVES, then you use the past tense, as you are talking about their private personality or nature.

    However, if you're talking about a writer's technique which he uses in the piece of literature, you use the past tense.

    For example,

    "Shakespeare parodied many conventions of plays in his works. For example, in The Tempest, he uses the blah to blah blah blah blah"

    I hope I've helped!

  3. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Tenses in Literature Analysis

    Hello Raikun,

    Welcome to the forums. Thank you for your answer. You're helpful. I've understood.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raikun View Post
    However, if you're talking about a writer's technique which he uses in the piece of literature, you use the past tense!
    I think "past" is a typo and you mean present tense.

  4. #4

    Re: Tenses in Literature Analysis

    Ahahaha, sorry, I meant present.

  5. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Tenses in Literature Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by Raikun View Post
    Ahahaha, sorry, I meant present.
    It's fine. Have a good one! See you around.

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