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AS and A Level: Sonnets

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 2
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  1. Marked by a teacher

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

    4 star(s)

    This was probably some time between 1942 and 1943 when Baker was living in the U.S.A and Canada. The poet's intension is not only to pay tribute to his mother but, more specifically, as the poem is addressed 'to' her, to send her his love and expression of his firm belief that she will 'move' from 'mourning to morning', in other words, that she will be lifted out of her present state of grief over a bereavement to the light, hope and life associated with 'morning' or a new day.

    • Word count: 1262
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Poem Analysis: Felix Randall By Gerald Maneley Hopkins.

    3 star(s)

    The vocabulary, which Hopkins uses in this quatrain, brings out the harshness and the boisterousness of Felix Randall. Obviously a person needs to be strong and big-boned in order to be able to put horseshoes on horses. Randall makes it very clear that Randall was one of these people in his second sentence. It says: "Who have watched his mould of man, big-boned and hardy-handsome". Now mould of man, implies that he had quite a lot of muscles and that he was a strong fellow.

    • Word count: 1148
  3. An Analysis of Shakespears "Sonnet 106"

    The first part, like the Italian sonnet, presents the problem. The second and third part complicated this situation further. Then the last part, the rhyming couplet, resolves the presented problem usually in a way that makes it a paradox. Sonnets are written in a strict rhyming and meter scheme. Iambic pentameter is used as a device in writing sonnets. This means that each line has ten syllables that alternate from hard to soft tones. The rhyming scheme for English sonnets is abab cdcd efef and gg for the rhyming couplet. We will be taking a look on Shakespeare's "Sonnet 106".

    • Word count: 599
  4. Free essay

    Analyse Shakespeares attitude to love

    The subject of the poem is compared in a negative manner as seen through the poets' senses. He sees her eyes as "nothing like the sun". He compares her smell to that of perfume "and in some perfumes is there more delight", which shows that he is not overly excited by her. We would expect the 'mistress' to move as graceful as an angel, however here, Shakespeare suggests that the subject of the poem is 'heavy footed', as she "treads on the ground."

    • Word count: 1040
  5. Sonnet 29. Shakespeares Sonnet 29 is a similar story about a man who thinks he is outcast because of his physical, mental, or emotional condition.

    The poet makes a repetition of "state", in Lines 2, 10, and 14 which indicates its significance in the poem. But the many meanings of the word prevent the reader from understanding the cause of the speaker's rejection. Paul Fussell said "State could mean the state of mind, or an estate of a person's status." In Lines 3-4, the speaker's skyward wails receive no reply either from nature or from God. The song "Redemption" by August Burns Red says, "Lord, show me the way.

    • Word count: 1045
  6. Shakespeare's sonnets 18, 130 and 131. These 3 sonnets have very different messages and display contradicting ideas of love.

    It begins with a rhetorical question and then goes on to answer the question throughout the poem. In sonnet 18 Shakespeare lists the ways in which a summer's day is inferior to his 'lover'. In sonnet 18 the line "summers lease hath too short a date" suggests that the beauty of summer will run out, but his lover's beauty will live on for eternity. "Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines and often is his gold complexion dimm'd" Shakespeare is trying to relay that summer is inconsistent, unlike his lover. Shakespeare is known for using many poetic devices in this sonnet which is typical in such a love-poem.

    • Word count: 1061
  7. "in the park"

    The woman's children "whine and bicker" which shows us that she may have lost interest in her children and is not giving them enough attention as they "tug her skirt". Another child is very bored with herself that is shown through drawing "aimless patterns in the dirt", this notion of boredom reflects directly on the life on the disheartened woman. The last line is very important, it shows us that that the woman has no self-confidence and no will to change things either.

    • Word count: 698
  8. "I will put Chaos into 14 lines"

    'Fourteen lines' is typically the length of a sonnet, and this particular sonnet is 14 lines. Now that we know what this particular sonnet is about, what does Millay have to say about writing sonnets and how does she say it? These questions will be explored in this paper. The first step is to look at the sonnet structure itself. This is a Petrarchan sonnet and follows the typical structure for this form. There is an octave, sestet and there is a rhyming scheme. The octave follows the typical rhyming scheme of ABBAABBA. The rhyme scheme in the sestet is CDCDCD and is a variation to the typical rhyme scheme.

    • Word count: 1042
  9. Consider the Development of the Sonnet from the 14th Century to the Modern Day

    He was famous for a collection of Italian lyrics which include a long series of love poems. Petrarch wrote his poems about a lady called Laura, whom he met in a church. Laura became the central theme of his poetry. In total Petrarch wrote three hundred and sixty five sonnets. Petrarch's poems were meant to convey his love and devotion to the love of his life Laura. Sonnets moved to England in the sixteenth century. The seventeenth century saw the theme of sonnets change from love to religion.

    • Word count: 1326
  10. How does the poet convey his admiration for the young man's beauty in sonnets 7 and 19? Collectively, the first section of Shakespeare's sonnets tends to primarily

    The sun's rising in the morning symbolizes the young man's youthful years. Just as the rest of the world watch the "sacred majesty" of the ever-heightening sun, this is how the poet views the young man, showing how in awe of the young man the he is. The sun's highest point in the sky resembles "strong youth in his middle age", however, after the sun reaches its peak, it has to descend. This downward movement represents "feeble age" in the youth. This stage in life is not only when beauty begins to fade, but when the people who looked with admiration at the youth's beauty will "look another way" when he has become old.

    • Word count: 785
  11. In order for a poem to be classified as a sonnet, it must meet certain structural requirements, and Sonnet 138, "When my love

    The woman is emphatic: she does not merely tell the truth, she is made of truth. Both the nature of this truth, and the reason for her swearing it, are unknown to the reader. The immediate thought is that the speaker has challenged her in some way, and whether or not this is correct, it is certainly an unconventional way to begin a love poem. The second line, "I do believe her, though I know she lies," introduces the reader to the wry humour that is an important feature of this sonnet. The humour is produced by the comic contradiction between outward behaviour (since the speaker's belief in her words is a reaction to her speech and thus a social act)

    • Word count: 1483
  12. The Sonnet

    The poem is clearly divided into two sections by the two differing rhyme groups. The change from one rhyme group to another signifies a change in subject matter. It can also be said that the octet presents the 'problem' or 'scenano,' and the sestet concludes it. In other words when the rhyme scheme changes, the idea gets developed or changed. One of the sonnets written by Petrarch is called "Soleasi Nel Mio Cor". Translated by Thomas Higginson the octet tells of the death a beautiful woman he loved. She was 'a noble lady who ruled his humble heart.' 'She ruled in beauty o'er this heart of mine, A noble lady in a humble home.'

    • Word count: 2881
  13. Compare how the conventions of the sonnet

    The Shakespearean sonnet comprises of three quatrains and a final rhyming couplet. The three quatrains will develop an issue and the couplet normally summarizes or concludes. A typical rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean sonnet would be that of ABABCDCDEFEFGG. Spenserian sonnets combine both the Shakespearean and Italian forms. Just like the Shakespearean form it uses 3 quatrains followed by a couplet. However the rhyme scheme is like the Italian, linking all stanzas together ABABBCBCCDCDEE. An essential element of all three types of sonnets is that of the volta which is used to signify a change in subject matter, for example in the Italian form the volta normally occurs at the ninth line.

    • Word count: 1907
  14. Sonnets. There are three different types of sonnets, Petrarchan, Shakespearian and Spenserian, and they have different structures,

    the first four lines on the first idea, four lines on second idea, four lines on development of previous idea and the two line Conclusion. Also the sonnets have a rhyming scheme in which Shakespearean sonnets are written as ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, Spenserian is written ABAB BCBC CDCD EE and Petrarchan has an ABBAABBA CDCDCD, though the Petrarchan rhyming scheme isn't always CDCDCD but can have a regular pattern CDCDEE. 'The Garden of Beauty' is written by Edmund Spenser, in which he compares his lovers beauty to nature, and says that she is far greater than anything he has ever seen.

    • Word count: 1001
  15. Compare how love is portrayed in Sonnet 18,

    Shakespeare continues by stating that the summer seems to be too short with "summer's lease hath all too short a date". It seems that the subject is described as perfect during the summer but as in the previous phrase "Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May", the subject is not quite as wonderful in the spring where he or she is not at peak potential as in the summertime. The poem seems to change into a darker tone afterwards with the phrase "Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines" this shows us that Shakespeare seems to be thinking that even good things can become unbearable and unpleasant in excessive quantities.

    • Word count: 1365
  16. William Shakespeare's sonnet 1 - analysis

    I think this line means that humans seek the most desirable humans with whom to reproduce. The speaker then says, "That thereby beauty's rose might never die" (2). The alliteration of the words "That" and "thereby" in line two seem to parallel the alliteration of line one. This stresses that the two lines are connected and helps the audience connect them as well. The poet unnaturally stresses the word "thereby," and this brings attention to its definition of being connected with its following subject the rose.

    • Word count: 997
  17. Compare the way the poets write about love and relationships in "Sonnet" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and "Sonnet 138" by William Shakespeare

    I believe that Shakespeare has written this sonnet about a mistress rather than his wife, Anne Hathaway, because the untruthfulness in the relationship shows a lack of commitment between the two lovers. In these poems, the attitudes of the poets to their relationships and partners are extremely different. When Browning says, "I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach", she implies that she cannot live without her lover, so of course this is why she stays with him.

    • Word count: 829
  18. The sonnet

    He introduced what came to be known as the Elizabethan sonnet. The popularity of the sonnet blossomed in the Elizabethan era relying on the standard subject matter of the torments of sexual love usually within a polite love convention. The sonnet has become the most popular and enduring form of English verse. English poets of almost every era have followed and adapted the sonnet to produce some of their best work. The standard courtly love subject matter of early sonnets was extended in the 17th century by John Donne into religion, while Milton extended it to politics.

    • Word count: 1322
  19. Consider the sonnet as a verse form. With examples, compare Petrarchan and Shakespearean sonnets and show developments in the form to the twentieth century.

    The sonnet form has changed a great deal since the time of the first Petrarchan sonnets. In this essay I have discussed the changes that have been made to the sonnet form, by whom and for what reason. The Petrarchan form of the sonnet was one of the earliest forms. This type is very rigid in format. It starts with the first eight lines, the octave, which states the problem or question. It then has a Volta in which the sonnet changes direction, or attitude. Then the sestet (the last six lines) follows by answering the question or solves the problem.

    • Word count: 1513
  20. I will be looking at the 'Sonnet' by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and 'Sonnet 138' by William Shakespeare, I will be comparing and contrasting these two poems, looking specifically looking at Imagery, the Poet's message as well as the use of sonnet form.

    Sonnet 18 (recited by an actor) comes from The Sonnets of Shakespeare (printed in 1609). Both of the writers had a lot of events to draw inspiration from; Shakespeare had the Great fire of London, the Spanish armada, the crusades and the Globe theatre, where as Barrett Browning had the American civil war, the 100 year war and the likes of Rossetti, Tennyson and Hawthorne. A sonnet is a lyric poem of 14 lines with a formal rhyme scheme, expressing different aspects of a single thought, mood, or feeling, resolved or summed up in the last lines of the poem.

    • Word count: 1231
  21. The History of the Sonnet

    She hath no questions, she hath no replies, Hushed in and curtained with a blessed dearth Of all that irked her from the hour of birth; With stillness that is almost Paradise. Darkness more clear than noonday holdeth her, Silence more musical than any song; Even her very heart has ceased to stir; Until the morning of Eternity Her rest shall not begin nor end, but be; And when she wakes she will not think it long. The main theme of this poem is the beauty of death, how death is not supposed to be feared.

    • Word count: 1733
  22. Are there any ways in which you consider that experiences conveyed by the sonnets, by pre-20th century poets differ from those conveyed by the writers of modern sonnets?

    The English, or Shakespearean sonnet, exemplified by the work of Shakespeare, developed as a variation to a language less rich in rhymes than in Italian. This form differs from the Petrarchan; it divides into three quatrains, each rhymed differently, with a final, independently rhymed couplet, which makes an effective, unifying climax to the whole. The rhyme scheme is a b a b, c d c d, e f e f, g g. The two pre-20th century sonnets I have chosen are both Shakespearean sonnets 'Let me not to the marriage of true minds' and 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?'

    • Word count: 2265
  23. "The reader was to seek in the sonnet not what the poet felt but what he himself felt." (C.S Lewis). Examine the themes of love and/or mortality and/or faith in the sonnets you have studied, and by reference to two or three.

    Spenser uses repetition in the first quatrain "But came the waves and washed it away", "But came the tide..." to emphasise the speaker's failure to immortalise his lover with the action of writing her name in the sand. The poet uses personification "made my pains his prey" to present the waves as a rival to the speaker and the choice if the word "prey" gives an impression of him being victimised. In the third quatrain Spenser's use of frequent alliteration seems to bind the sonnet together "die in dust" "verse your virtues" and also highlight his confidence that he feels to immortalise his lover with the use of his poetry.

    • Word count: 1378
  24. Sonnet 130 - review.

    The line itself is deliberately awkward as it contains six syllables instead of the usual five and so gives an unconventional rhythm which is accentuated by the alliteration on the <r>. Moreover the linking images of the coral and snow would suggest that Shakespeare's mistress may not show any true passion for him and she remains cold and detached These first lines pay no flattery to Shakespeare's mistress as he is deliberately making the statement that she is not beautiful: her eyes are not bright, her lips are not beautifully red, her skin is a dull colour and her hair is thick, coarse and wiry.

    • Word count: 968
  25. Explore aspects of the sonnet tradition through reference to a range of material you have studied?

    His 154 sonnets were originally published in 1609 but it is argued that they were mostly written in the 1590s, often expressed strong feeling within an exquisitely controlled form. His sonnets portrayed a strong sense of love and passion but it has always been a high topic of debate as to whom these sonnets were dedicated to. The question of whether Shakespeare was a bi-sexual has never been answered. Shakespeare uses very emotive words in his sonnets, which captures you amongst the words and involves the readers mind, body and soul.

    • Word count: 2515

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • 'The sonnet is the perfect poetic form to express love.' Evaluate up to four sonnets of your choice in light of this quotation.

    "In conclusion, the sonnet is the perfect poetic form to express love. This is because of its tight, compact structure, its repetition and its rhythm. The imagery used in sonnets is also an exceptional structure of writing and it makes the sonnet extremely romantic by comparing love to a tangible item. This is because most substantial objects symbolise what the sonneteer is trying to express. Wilfred Blunt mainly writes examples of imagery and Elizabeth Barrett Browning deeply expresses her passion. Throughout the variety of love sonnets, the tight, compact structure will always remain there. This helps the sonneteer craft their writing into fourteen lines making the wording extremely expressive and significant. Repetition enforces on the words repeated making the reader focus on either the word or the phrase. Overall, the sonnet is the most perfect poetic form to express love."

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