• 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)

    These feelings are moreover, reinforced by the warm, playful, exuberant tone he employs throughout the poem. The sonnet form with the necessity for compression that it imposes is particularly suitable for this brief but deeply-felt tribute. In the fourteen lines, Baker provides a vivid and appealing cameo of his mother,

  2. Compare how the conventions of the sonnet

    the reader an idea that the speaker feels his beloved is better than a summers day. The second quatrain enhances this theme and expands it by showing how all the beautiful effects of summer eventually fade. Throughout the first two quatrains the idea of the beloved being more beautiful than

  1. The History of the Sonnet

    Beauty's effect with beauty were bereft, Nor it nor no remembrance what it was: But flowers distill'd, though they with winter meet, Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet. The poet expresses grief of the progress of the years, which will play havoc with the young man's beauty.

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

    However he crushes this idea with the lines: "But thy eternall Sommer shall not fade" (Sonnet XVl l l, line 9) "Nor loose possession of that faire thou ow'st" (Sonnet XVl l l, line 10) Shakespeare portrays his love in this sonnet by giving it a sense of immortality and suggesting it is eternal.

  1. "The reader was to seek in the sonnet not what the poet felt but ...

    The rhyming couplet between the end of this quatrain and the start of the next "And eek my name be wiped out likewise./ 'Not so', quoth I, 'let baser things devise'" allow the two separate events of her reply and his final idea of how he will immortalise her to be related and hence the sonnet easier to understand.

  2. Critical appreciation on Shakespeare's

    The publisher, Thomas Thorpe, wrote a dedication to the first edition in which he claimed that a person with the initials W. H. had inspired the sonnets. Some have thought these letters to be the transposed initials of Henry Wriothesley, 3d earl of Southampton, to whom Shakespeare dedicated Venus and

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

    Shakespeare uses a great deal of elaborate imagery and with the reversal of meaning seems to play amusing games with the reader. Shakespeare starts his sonnet with a rhetorical question; "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" and then goes on to say; "Thou art more lovely and more

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

    This word could also be depicted as a maid. A servant. Metaphorical language is used on the word, 'swears.' "When my love swears that she is made of truth." This is metaphorical because love cannot swear. The end words of the first two lines contain an opposition in verbs.

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