• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider the Development of the Sonnet from the 14th Century to the Modern Day

Extracts from this document...


Consider the Development of the Sonnet from the 14th Century to the Modern Day. The word sonnet is the English translation of the Italian word sonetto, a 'little sound' or 'song'. A sonnet is a poem consisting of fourteen lines, ten syllables in English and Italian and generally twelve in French. There are three basic sonnet forms, the Petrarchan, which is an eight lined and a six lined (octave and sestet) sonnet with no rhyming couplet; the Spenserian, consisting of three quatrains and a couplet; finally the Shakespearian, consisting of three quatrains (four lines) and a couplet. There are different styles of sonnets all over the world. For example, France has its own unique structure that their sonneteers write in and the same with other countries. With all these different countries having different styles of writing that also means there are also different rhyming schemes. Reading sonnets is a great way of learning about different cultural aspects of life; for example during the seventeenth century the central theme of most sonnets was religion. During this time it gave people a great opportunity to learn about many different religions. The use of enjambment occurs in many sonnets. Enjambment is the running on of the thought from one line, couplet, or stanza to the next without a syntactical break The first sonneteer was Italian, his name was Francesco Petrarch. ...read more.


At the conclusion of the poem, (the rhyming couplet) Shakespeare writes 'So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.' This quotation informs the reader that she may die. However she will stay alive through the poem. The poem 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge' written in 1802 by William Wordsworth is about Wordsworth love of natural world and the city of London. The first line of the sonnet reads 'Earth has not anything to show more fair.' In this quotation Wordsworth is sitting on Westminster Bridge looking across the beautiful city of London and is besotted with the picturesque view and feels the world has nothing to compare to it. William Wordsworth writes 'All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.' This quotation informs the reader of the beautiful sunrise and how it glitters across the city. Wordsworth writes 'The river glideth at his own sweet will.' This quotation means that the Thames has many bends on its path through the city of London and has not got a straight journey like other rivers. Wordsworth metaphorically states that the river glides freely. This sonnet is very popular and was voted 24th most popular poem in 1998. ...read more.


The sonnet is written in the first person; this is because Petrarch is expressing his love to Laura (There is a direct address to the lady). Petrarch uses many abstract nouns in his writing; he uses two in the title, vanity and passion. The reason for Petrarch using several abstract nouns is that it reflects the abstract nature of his love. Petrarch writes 'Throughout my song, by hopes and vain grief's bed;' this quotation means that Petrarch recognises that he was vain ever to believe that she might ever love him. When Petrarch was younger he thought he was in love; he now realises what it means to be 'in passion drowned;' Petrarch writes 'That worldly pleasure is a passing dream.' This quotation informs that the love is short and can't last. His love is like a dream. The mood of the poem is very desolate as Petrarch wants something he is unable to achieve. In conclusion the central sonnet theme has not changed in hundreds of years, many are still written today. As time has progressed different forms have been introduced such as the Spenserian and the Shakespearian. My favourite sonnet is 'Shall I compare thee' because Shakespeare uses many descriptive language associated with summer and his mysterious woman, this shows the depth of his love for her. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Chris Vella-Bone 10Dane Miss Brindly English Coursework ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sonnets section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sonnets essays

  1. In the poem 'Song for the Old Ones' Maya Angelou explores (QUESTION) by using ...

    I think Maya Angelou's word-choice within this simile gives a simple comparison which allows a reader to understand a serious subject because the words "Broken candles" portrays a simple image and when candles are worn down, they break and are no longer of great use; which is how the Black slaves were treated.

  2. Sonnets. There are three different types of sonnets, Petrarchan, Shakespearian and Spenserian, and they ...

    The red and white roses in 'Red and White Roses' by Thomas Carew represent, the passion and the coldness, the red

  1. "I will put Chaos into 14 lines"

    Creating a sonnet can seem like a difficult task. This is what Millay is struggling with in the beginning of "I will put Chaos into 14 lines". "I will put Chaos into 14 lines" can be called a sonnet based on the criteria above.

  2. Are there any ways in which you consider that experiences conveyed by the sonnets, ...

    Hendry begins the sonnet with the view and opinion of another person, the first few lines express the way women are subservient towards the men; 'Or go to places where by chance we'll meet Or hold your hand unless you as me to.'

  1. The Sonnet

    'If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved.' The rhyme in these last two lines helps to emphasize his conclusion. There is also a great deal of hyperbole in this poem which helps to persuade the reader to agree with the poet.

  2. Consider the sonnet as a verse form. With examples, compare Petrarchan and Shakespearean sonnets ...

    'Let me not' Shakespeare tended to use the same form for all of his sonnets. John Milton was another writer who, in the 17th century, took the original sonnet form and made it suit himself.

  1. Explore aspects of the sonnet tradition through reference to a range of material you ...

    He uses time in this sonnet as an enemy that has been defeated by his love, implying that his love is not times fool. "Lov's not Times foole" (Sonnet CXVl, line 10) Finally in this sonnet his use of vocabulary puts a positive spin on the words he has used.

  2. Analysis of Sheakespeare's Sonnet 73 "That time of year thou mayst in me behold"

    These ?boughs?(CITE) he personifies as shaking against the cold, which shows the living things as unhappy, and the environment?his environment?as a hostile place. They are unprotected and lonely, and, given the time of year, have only more coldness and misery before them.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work