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The sonnet

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Introduction

English Coursework The sonnet originates in Italy in the 12th and 13th century. The term comes from the Italian for "little song" and the best known Italian sonneteers were Dante and Francesco Petrarca. Petrarch proved most influential on the sonnet's successive history, leaving his predominant theme of secular love as well as the form itself to subsequent poets. In 14th century Italy the sonnet was clearly established in as a major form of love poetry. The sonnet is a lyric poem comprised of 14 rhyming lines of equal length utilising a variety of different rhyme schemes, but usually in five-foot iambic pentameters in English. While there is a wide number of varying classifications two essential core types are the bases for the various modifications by experimenters. The sonnet was introduced to England by Thomas Wyatt in the 16th century after he learned of the form during his travels in Spain and Italy. While he is more widely known for his other lyrics, Wyatt wrote 32 sonnets in the form that has come to be known as the Petrarchan sonnet. A friend of Wyatt, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey shares credit for introducing the sonnet to England. Surrey's work deviates somewhat both thematically and structurally from Petrarch's conventions and represents a more complete "taming" of the sonnet into the English language. ...read more.

Middle

Instead of the octave and sestet divisions, this sonnet characteristically symbolizes four divisions of three quatrains (each with a rhyme-scheme of its own) and a final rhymed couplet. The typical rhyme-scheme for the English sonnet is: abab cdcd efef gg. The couplet at the end is usually a commentary on the foregoing, a short close. Though not invented by Shakespeare, the form was perfected by Shakespeare. The reason for the greater number of rhymes in the Shakespearean sonnet is due to the greater difficulty finding rhymes in English. In Shakespeare the 'turn' comes with the final couplet which often undercuts the thought created in the rest of the poem. I am going to examine some of the metaphors used in the sonnet with the first line, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" I like this sonnet because it is full of metaphors and it describes the situation in such a way that you can actually picture the scene. One particular metaphor that the poet uses which I really like is:- "Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines." I like this metaphor because it describes the sun as the "eye of heaven". This sentence also says that the sun shines too hot down on the earth which works well with the fact that the sun can ...read more.

Conclusion

"And all that mighty heart is lying still!" This line of the sonnet finishes it off very neatly because it simply supports the stillness and silence of London at a morning sunrise. This I find is a very ingenious way to end a sonnet. I am going to write about the alliteration that is used in the sonnet titled, "God's Grandeur". The poet, Gerald Manley Hopkins, uses a lot of alliteration to tie the lines together because it causes stress to be put on the sound that is being repeated. Another sentence with a large amount of alliteration in it is:- "And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell:" This particular sentence flows very easily because of all the 's' sounds which appears in nearly every word. This makes the sentence have more emphasis on it than usual which keeps the reader drawn in to the poem because of all the same sounding words. I like it how the poet uses this amount of alliteration in the poem because it creates emphasis where other poems wouldn't which makes the poem more interesting and exciting. Another sentence with alliteration that I like is:- "It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;" You can't capture shining from shook foil. You can only feel it, see it and take it inside yourself and let it echo. James Russell English Coursework 1 ...read more.

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