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A sonnet is recognised as a poem that consists of fourteen lines, split up into an octave and sestet, has ten syllables in each line and ends with a rhyming couplet.

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Introduction

SONNETS COURSEWORK A sonnet is recognised as a poem that consists of fourteen lines, split up into an octave and sestet, has ten syllables in each line and ends with a rhyming couplet. In a sonnet there is usually an idea or a question introduced in the octave, which is developed or answered in the sestet. The rhyming couplet at the end is there to sum up/round up the end. Comparison of Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? & My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? (Sonnet XVII) and My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun (sonnet CXXX) were written by William Shakespeare. They are both comparisons of Shakespeare's love and his mistress. They are both associated with love and comparisons but differ quite a lot from each other. Shall I compare thee...? was written before My mistresses' eyes are nothing like the sun, which would have influenced the way that Shakespeare thought about love and the style of writing sonnets, would have also changed. Sonnet XVII is split into four quatrains and a rhyming couplet. Each quatrain develops further into the idea of his love being compared to a summer's day. The structure of the sonnet helps to break up the comparisons and make the sonnet more interesting. Sonnet CXXX is not split up into quatrains but does have a rhyming couplet at the end. ...read more.

Middle

When he says, "I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound " it seems as though he is contradicting himself. We know that Shakespeare is saying that his mistress is normal "My mistress when she walks treads on the ground", and she is made to look bad by being compared to false objects, "belied by false compare". The rhyming couplet at the end shows us that Shakespeare truly lives his mistress and he thinks it is special. I think that both sonnets are expressive and tell us how Shakespeare was feeling very clearly. His intentions when writing Shall I compare thee....? were to tell us that his love was better than a summers day. This was clearly shown and uses some similes, "But thy eternal summer". We know exactly how Shakespeare was feeling and the poem is very descriptive and even though the comparisons are hyperbole the imagery is very effective and you can visualise it, "Rough windes do shake the darling buds of Maie". His intentions in My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun were to tell us that just because he compares his wife to beautiful thing and says that she isn't like them it doesn't mean that he doesn't love her. He uses ordinary objects to compare her to which makes it sound more down to earth than the first sonnet. ...read more.

Conclusion

The first quatrain introduces the idea that that Romeo wants to kiss Juliet, which is then developed in the following quatrains. In the second quatrain the idea of using pilgrims and palmers is introduced. The third quatrain develops the pilgrims and palmers image when Romeo once again talks of kissing Juliet. This idea is once again extended and developed into the rhyming couplet where Juliet says, "Saints do not move though grant for prayers sake". The language in the sonnet is not too difficult to understand. There isn't a lot of hidden meaning in this sonnet the ambiguous features are the pilgrims and palmer. The metaphors used in the sonnet are quite clever, as Romeo and Juliet aren't trying to tell the other one what their true feelings are so they speak about it using another topic. The intention of Shakespeare was to show how Romeo and Juliet talk to each other when they meet for the first time. "Palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss", this is where Romeo is trying to tell Juliet that they have kissed like palmers. He then brings in the idea that palmers have lips too which they could use to kiss each other. The mood of this sonnet is about love and there is excitement in it, "let lips do what hands do!". The sonnet shows how keen Romeo and Juliet are to kiss each other. This sonnet uses imagery that is quite common which makes it easier to visualise. The ambiguity of the conversation makes the sonnet interesting to read. ...read more.

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