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“Love, time, death and loss have all been the inspiration for sonnets.” Discuss how this applies to the sonnets you have studied and comment on their technical variety.

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"Love, time, death and loss have all been the inspiration for sonnets." Discuss how this applies to the sonnets you have studied and comment on their technical variety. The themes of love, time, death and loss are often and easily linked for obvious reasons. As far back as poetry and writing date, these themes will be clear within them. Often the inspiration for tragic or despairing poetry, one should perhaps observe the sonnets which are particularly linked to such subject matter. William Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 is about time bringing forth potential loss of love and the unavoidable consequences of age. The sonnet opens with a revelation of the time of year, imagery of autumn, the end of the year and the autumn of his own life. It is reflective almost to the point of wallowing; the sun is fading, the yellow leaves "do hang" and there is a poetic link to singing birds, highlighting the ever-present bitter sweet melancholy within the piece. The first quatrain begins to set the tune of the sonnet, using the concept of time within the seasons with an almost literal landscape foundation; the descriptions of nature are at their oldest, ravaged by time and nearing their ending. Shakespeare uses various parallels, drawing one in as the almost literal portrayal being in the 'autumn' of his own life. ...read more.


Age is often considered unattractive, and abrupt reminders of mortality. Despite the desperation and sadness of this poem, there it highlights a certain beauty of age, paralleling it with nature. It has to be, and could it be any better way than represented through the raw honesty and patterns of nature. It is a gentle kind of sorrow, accepting its' fate. One could consider the great irony of the sonnet lying in the fact that nature is possibly the only tangible, timeless part of this earth. There maybe death and there maybe tragedy, however, the cycle is never-ending. The certain soft resignation within 73 is contrasted within line 12; which seems to comply with another of Shakespeare's sonnets -116. Passionate feelings and almost anger are present within the words; line 12 of sonnet 73 begins to question this, noting the consumption of "that which it was nourished by." The personification of love is a regular theme, although not so consistent with 73. The almost unjust consumption of this love by time is similar to the personification of feelings within 116, proposing to almost oppose feelings in order to resolve them. The opening lines of 116 echo marriage vows, yet also open with clearly noted enjambement and a celestial pause. One may already presume that things are not as concrete as at first glance. ...read more.


Whilst the words may roll from the tongue into the eagerly anticipating audience, it may serve as a disappointed if one expects subject matter to be portrayed in the same technique again. Michael Drayton's sonnet, "Since There's No Help" appears to take a very traditional angle of love. He informs his love that they should "kiss and part" claiming to be finished with her, yet then proposes to speak of possible times in the future through "Love's latest breath." This primarily simplistic piece is in fact highly complex. The angle of time is very different to that which has been previously examined. He refrains from noting such things as the ravages of age and time, yet looks to it through potentiality. The recurrent theme of love personified is clear. Love and the attributes such as passion, faith and innocence are portrayed through personification. Capital letters stamp their new-found identity and they are spoken of as nouns, in action. Death is spoken of, yet no capital letter marks the word. The themes of death and loss are in context with the emotions spoken of. It is almost the literal death of love which is carefully layered through impossible imagery; "Faith is kneeling by his bed of death". The subject is clearly similar to the previous sonnets, yet the technique is greatly varying through this unfamiliar representation of emotions. ...read more.

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