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Shakespeare's sonnets 18, 130 and 131. These 3 sonnets have very different messages and display contradicting ideas of love.

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Introduction

Pre-1914 Poetry Coursework Sonnets were originally brought to England, in the 16 centaury, by the Thomas Walt; William Shakespeare then adopted the idea but reinvented the 'rules', making way for the 'English' sonnet. The 'English' sonnet varies from the 'Italian' or 'Petrarchan' sonnet in that the English sonnet would be made up of three quatrains and a rhyming couplet. In addition to this the rhyming scheme was also changed to conform to the ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG Patten. In the 'English' sonnet each line was to be written in 'iambic pentameter' which would consist of ten syllables. Sonnets were adopted by William Shakespeare and used so famously that they are often referred to as 'Shakespearian sonnet'. Sonnets are fourteen line poems which always contain a theme of love. However, how the topic is presented often varies. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, but possibly the most famous of these is sonnet 18. It begins with a rhetorical question and then goes on to answer the question throughout the poem. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare tone in sonnet 18 is one of cynicism and parody. The poet would seem to be rejecting the established ideal of beauty. Even thought the sonnet could be seen as an insult to his mistress Shakespeare ends t5he sonnet with the line "I think my love as rare as any she belied with false compare" this would seem to contrast the rest of the poem. Shakespeare continues in this fashion and seems to adopt the style of a more typical sonnet. He continues in this fashion going on to say that his lover is as beautiful as any woman written about in a more traditional sonnet. Sonnet 130 doesn't rely heavily on poetic devices like other sonnets. Shakespeare uses a sarcastic tone in sonnet 18 as instead of comparing his love to beautiful things, which is what usually happens, Shakespeare instead denies these similarities. Sonnet 130 is very unconventional in both its message and its use of poetic devices. ...read more.

Conclusion

However the 0verall message of the sonnet contradicts what would be expected from a sonnet from this time frame. Shakespeare, in sonnet 131, was keen to demonstrate a more realistic view of love, and doses not simply compare his lover to a range of beautiful things but instead talks of her dark side as well as her downfalls and imperfections. These 3 sonnets have very different messages and display contradicting ideas of love. Sonnet 18 is traditional and includes the general themes that would be expected in a sonnet of its time while sonnet 130, thought carrying a strong message of love, expresses it in a different way. On the other had sonnet 131 is unique in that it is almost sarcastic, though the poet writes of his love of his mistresses as well as his lovers beauty but unusually for the period he insults her character which contradicts the norm for this type of poetry. Overall Shakespeare has proven a controversial and thought provoking poet whom redefined the English language, but most of all he has withstood the test of time. ?? ?? ?? ?? Marc di-trolio ...read more.

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