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Sonnets. Shakespeare liked the sonnet and created 154 of his own as well as incorporating them into his plays with adaptations of their style.

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Craig Tolley 10CR Sonnets Essay Rough Draft The traditional sonnet is the worlds way of conveying love between two bodies. The traditional love poem that originated in Italy in the middle 1400's has been taken up by many other countries of the world. Shakespeare liked the sonnet and created 154 of his own as well as incorporating them into his plays with adaptations of their style. The Shakespearean sonnet was built around end rhymes on every other line. For example: Shall I compare thee to a summers day? (A) Thou art more lovely and more temperate (B) Rough winds do shake the darling buds of may (A) A summers lease hath all too short a date (B) As you can see may and day rhyme as do temperate and date. The final two lines in all Shakespearean sonnets have a rhyming couplet to complete the verse. These rhyme and have no rhyme connection with the rest of the sonnet. So long as men can breathe or eyes can see So long lives this and this gives life to thee. This is the form of all Shakespearean sonnets and the same applies to the sonnets that are in his plays. There are multiple sonnets in Romeo and Juliet consisting of traditional love sonnets, hate and love sonnets, some individual roles and some with the role of the chorus. ...read more.


At this point Romeo is discussing his eternal and obsessive love for Rosaline his previous girlfriend who has left him. This is more closely related to a traditional sonnet but is broken by the fact that heartache is evident in some lines of the poem: Why then, o brawling love, o loving hate, O anything of nothing first create! O heavy lightness, serious vanity, Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms. Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, Still waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love feel I, that feel no love in this. This is the point in which the traditional sonnet was broken off into the style in which Shakespeare has turned it into. Points that also make this sonnet interesting are when he uses oxymorons to add effect. This was in lines 179 and 180. Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, Still waking sleep, that is not what it is! These strike you at first as absolutely absurd but then you realise how they portray how he is feeling. This contradicts the prologue which says that this is a play of tragedy and seemingly turns it into a play focused on the aspect of Romeo's love, when actually it isn't. Soon after the discussion about Rosaline with Benvolio, he has been taken to the Capulets dinner party where he meets the daughter of Lord Capulet, Juliet. ...read more.


The final sonnet is the chorus at the start of the second act. This is basically a summary of the previous act and hints towards the outcome of the next act. The sonnet is generally suggesting that the love between Romeo and Juliet might overcome the vast and ancient hate between the families. This is shown in the rhyming couplet at the end: But passion lends them power, time means, to meet. Temp'ring extremities with extreme sweets. A rough translation of this is as follows: Passion lends them power: There love will give them the power to do as they like. Time means: The time available. To meet: To see each other at some point. Temp'ring extremities: To soften hatred between the two families. With extreme sweets: With their great love. This sonnet also reflects on Romeo's thoughts towards the old woman in his life and his new-found love. It coveys how his lovesick behaviour towards Rosaline was soon abolished for his new found love Juliet: Now old desire doth in his death bed lie. And young affection gapes to be his heir. That fair for which love groaned for and would die. With tender Juliet matched is now not fair. Now Romeo is beloved and loves again. You can see how he compares Rosaline with Juliet and how he simply drops Rosaline. One can almost question whether Romeo would do the same thing with Juliet and be suddenly attracted to another. ...read more.

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