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

Critical Appreciation of "Since There's No Help" By Michael Drayton.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Critical Appreciation: Since There's No Help ~By Michael Drayton~ 'Since There's No Help' is a typical example of Drayton's work, yet it has been solely responsible for plucking Drayton from the general obscurity of Elizabethan sonneteers. It was his one and only "excellent" sonnet, reaching the "highest level of poetic feeling and expression"1 considered to be the "the one sonnet by a contemporary which deserves to rank with some of Shakespeare's best"1. This poem is written in traditional Shakespearian sonnet form, consisting of fourteen lines of iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme is also consistent of a Shakespearean sonnet, being [abab cdcd efef gg]; yet critics are divided as to whether this sonnet can be split into the traditional three quatrains and a rhyming couplet, as with other Shakespearean sonnets. Lemuel Whitaker, in his essay 'The Sonnets of Michael Drayton', argued "many critics have shut their eyes to the sestet". "Now", at the opening of line 9, undoubtedly acts as a Volta, marking a substantial change in tone and causing some critics, including Whitaker, to consider this sonnet as an octave and a sestet, following the Petrachan sonnet form, rather than as a Shakespearian sonnet. ...read more.

Middle

The repetition of "glad" in line three adds power and emphasis. This type of rhetorical device is often used when a poet is trying to convince the reader of his point of view. It also suggests that that the poet is not only trying to persuade the reader, but himself also. From this, it can be inferred that he deeply loves the woman and that his opinion in line four that "so cleanly I myself can free" is not the case. This language appears to be a form of self-deception and a male refusal to admit an emotional problem, which he cannot overcome, and is one that I think many modern audiences could identify with. This attempt to conceal pain and true emotion is also evident in line 8, where the poet's uses the colloquial expression, "one jot", professing to be careless and almost cynical of the power of love. Here, the simplistic language adds poignancy to the words of the poet. While Drayton was one of the sonneteers that indulged in a conventional literary expression, this seemingly male reluctance to admit his pain and loss of control of his feelings for a woman who has rejected him does not fit into this form of sonnet vogue. ...read more.

Conclusion

Drayton associates his railed relationship with his loss of innocence. This may be a reference to how his 'innocent', romantic illusions, possibly consistent with the tradition form of courtly love, have been shattered by this experience. Unexpectedly, the tone again changes in the final couplet. It is only here that Drayton admits that he really doesn't want his relationship and love to "die", he wants he to help them "recover". It is this idea of recovery that provides the reader with an important clue to the 'real' sentiments of the poet. The couplet also implies, that it was not in fact the poet who ended the relationship, but the woman, as it is her that he begs to save it "when all have given him over". While 'Since There's No Help' displays many of the literary conventions of the time, it is by no means a stereotypical 'Courtly Love' sonnet, conveying no real feelings. Considering the context of the poet's life, this poem is probably autobiographical, dedicated to the love Drayton felt for Anne Goodere. I believe that it truly is the "culminating cry of his unrequited passion"5. 1 Sidney Lee, 'The Cambridge History of English and American Literature', http://www.bartleby.com/213/1212.htm 2 http://print.inforplease.com/ce6/people/A0816085.html 3 Lemuel Whitaker, 'The Sonnets of Michael Drayton', http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/whitaker.htm 4 Sidney Lee, 'The Cambridge History of English and American Literature', http://www.bartleby.com/213/1212.htm 5 5 Lemuel Whitaker, 'The Sonnets of Michael Drayton', http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/whitaker.htm ...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. Marked by a teacher

    A critical appreciation of 'to my mother' by George Baker.

    4 star(s)

    His exuberant exclamation near the end of the poem, 'and so I send O all my faith and all my love to her...'confirms the strength of these feelings. The warm, humorous, delightfully frank way Baker describes his 'irresistible' mother in the intervening lines also convinces us of his strong attachment to her.

  2. Compare how the conventions of the sonnet

    summer is continued and with the use of imagery enhanced even more. Using the season of summer creates an image of a warm beautiful day in the readers mind therefore encouraging them to create an image of a woman so beautiful she is better than the day itself.

  1. The History of the Sonnet

    His stubbly cheeks and wonderful smile, He shows me the stars and the big dippers, I hope he will see me walk down the aisle. He sits in his chair, watching TV, Reading a book or eating some fruit. He is lazy sometimes, I must agree, But he's done his job and brought in the loot.

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

    impressionable mark on the reader as his belief in love boils over the top in his sonnet, "Shall I compare thee?" His exaggeration in the sonnet only underlines his thoughts that beating time is the main element for conquering love.

  1. An examination of the sonnet from Petrarch to Browning.

    Elizabeth Barrett, who met Robert Browning in 1845, fell deeply in love with him. Robert was also a poet, who admired Elizabeth's poetry and her techniques, which she used in her sonnets. A man named Kenyon who was wealthy and a convivial friend of the arts introduced the couple.

  2. Compare ‘Shall Icompare thee to a summer’s day?’ by W. Shakespeare, ‘How do I ...

    The next line suggests that summer is too short and the beauty of the lady will last forever; "And summer's lease hath all to short a date". The following line; "Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines" uses personification which personifies heaven.

  1. Compare the ways in which the poets express strength of feeling in "Spring" and ...

    As the reader imagines glass, it is shiny, clean, fresh and reflective. The reader's mind is therefore illustrated with pictures of white blossom. John Donne uses substantial different forms of personification in the sonnet, "Holy Sonnet 10" as he

  2. “Love, time, death and loss have all been the inspiration for sonnets.” Discuss how ...

    There is a certain confusion representative of the senile attributes of old age throughout the sonnet and particular the style and technique. Towards the beginning of the sonnet, the words "yellow leaves or none, or few" seem to set the tone for the rest of the piece.

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