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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.

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Introduction

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. Elizabeth Barrett was born at Coxhoe Hall, Durham, England. Elizabeth was educated at home, learning Greek, Latin, and several modern languages at an early age. In 1819, her father arranged for the printing of one of her poems (she was 13 at the time.). She lived in Italy for most of the rest of her life with her lover Robert Browning; once they became married she became known as Barrett Browning. William Shakespeare ranks as perhaps the most famous writer in the history of English literature. Shakespeare employed poetry and verse within his dramatic comedies, tragedies, and histories, and he also composed notable individual poems. His poems include a series of 154 sonnets, unusually arranged as three quatrains and a couplet; the development was original enough for it to become known as the Shakespearian sonnet. Sonnet 18 (recited by an actor) comes from The Sonnets of Shakespeare (printed in 1609). ...read more.

Middle

The sestet is built on two or three different rhymes, arranged either c d e c d e, or c d c d c d, or c d e d c e; the first three lines exemplify or reflect on the theme, and the last three lines bring the whole poem to a unified close. Among great examples of the Petrarchan sonnet in the English language are Sir Philip Sidney's sonnet sequence Astrophel and Stella (1591), which established the form in England. There, in the Elizabethan age, it reached the peak of its popularity. The English sonnet, exemplified by the work of Shakespeare or Edmund Spenser's Amoretti (1595), developed as an adaptation to a language less rich in rhymes than Italian. This form differs from the Petrarchan in being divided into three quatrains, each rhymed differently, with a final, independently rhymed couplet that 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. Barrett Browning uses neither of the two styles completely; she opted for a Hybrid style of her own design, which followed some of each of the two styles formatting but not all. ...read more.

Conclusion

I do not think that Shakespeare uses imagery at all in the sonnet, as it is not the sort of thing that a male would find particularly easy to do, I should know I am one after all. The reason I think that Barrett Browning is the most effective with the imagery is because she is female and females generally find it a lot easier to talk about how they feel, even if they do have a tendency to talk in code. So in conclusion they both are talking about different types of love, but they both have the same underlining meaning, they both are telling us that love, gods most sacred gift to us must be cherished and above all, we should never take what we have for granted, and always try to think of those we love, and how what we are doing or about to do is going to effect them. I believe that the better sonnet is by far Elizabeth Barrett Browning's as she uses all of her emotions to convey her message, and it shines through, showing the better poet. ?? ?? ?? ?? Compare and contrast the 2 sonnets, looking specifically at imagery, the poet's message and use of the sonnet form Gavin Shaw 10.4 Page 1 ...read more.

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