• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The sonnet: A historical analysis of the greatest form of poetry.

Extracts from this document...


The sonnet: A historical analysis of the greatest form of poetry In this piece of English coursework, I have been asked to look at what I think is one of the greatest forms of poetry in history, which I personally think is a sonnet. In this topic, there are two main categories for sonnets, the first is Italian, and the second is English. Some say there is a Spenserian sonnet made by Edmund Spenser who varied the English form to make it slightly irregular. All sonnets have 14 lines in total. The Italian sonnet form is called the Petrarchan form. The form seems to have originated in the 13th century among the Sicilian school of court poets, who were influenced by the love poetry of Proven´┐Żal troubadours (who were poets of high regards). It is usually an octet followed by a sestet. When the break between the verses occur the mood of the sonnet changes sometimes to differentiate between each other. The English sonnet form is called the Shakespearean form, which is usually made up of three quatrains and a couplet and the transition changes before the couplet. An octet is an eight-line verse, a sestet is a six-line verse, a quatrain is a four-line verse, and a couplet is a two-line verse. We were asked to write an analysis of a sonnet called "Shall I compare thee...?". ...read more.


The theme of this sonnet is "nothing lasts forever" - mortality because he is boasting about his great new founded kingdom but there is actually nothing left standing upright. The imagery that is described in lines 13 - 15 emphasise the message but also allows you to imagine what happened and how it happened. At first when I personally read the first five lines of the sonnet, I thought it was a person lying there dead waiting for someone to find him and take him away. In my opinion, old language is used which means is not very comprehensive at first but it is related with the time period, and takes into account what people were like in that era because it is associated with the sonnet and would not make sense otherwise. The poet uses a sonnet form to underline his message that life is too brief and too short to be egotistical towards God. He uses this sonnet to express a rebuke to cruel and unfair politicians. Percy wanted a romantic view of the world and did not want a world like Ozymandias' era but it's still like it was along time ago even though we have votes, we still have taxes and if something doesn't go the way politicians want, we have to pay more tax. The moral of this sonnet was nothing lasts forever so it is teaching politicians that it will never be the same all the time. ...read more.


The reason for using a petrarchan form is because the separation between the octet and the sestet represents an expression of national pride. In my judgement, Ozymandias of Egypt and The Soldier are interconnected because Ozymandias of Egypt shows us the message about how nothing lasts forever and The Soldier shows us how we should remember the people who have fought for their own country, England. The only difference I could think of is that the period in time that they both belong to are different and that is shown in the language that each of them has chosen. I feel that Ozymandias of Egypt and "Shall I compare thee...?" are opposite because Ozymandias tells us how nothing lasts forever and "Shall I compare thee...?" shows us how if something is written down it becomes eternal and undying. I believe that these two sonnets cancel each other out because they are contrary. The only similarity between these two sonnets is the time in which they were written. I believe that The Soldier and "Shall I compare thee...?" have the same perspective but in a different phase in time because The Soldier talks about how you should remember the people who are acting out patriotism for their country and "Shall I compare thee...?" is saying how the poet is remembering his loved one and will never forget her but in a sense so is England to people who have fought for their country. BY Johnathan Lamb 11C ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sonnets section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sonnets essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Poem Analysis: Felix Randall By Gerald Maneley Hopkins.

    3 star(s)

    By using assonance, Hopkins attempts to slow the reader down and really articulate the words well.

  2. Critical Appreciation of "Since There's No Help" By Michael Drayton.

    Drayton describes how "Faith is kneeling by his bed of death". This suggests that his experience with this woman has shaken his faith in God. Drayton lived in a time of great religious upheaval and this contextual suggestion, is not altogether surprising.

  1. The Sonnet

    The rhyming couplet however, abides by the specification since it twists the meaning of the poem: 'And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare.' This explains that although his mistress is not perfect, and he couldn't describe her as anything beautiful, he still loves her with all his heart!

  2. The History of the Sonnet

    Human life is like the seasons, spring summer, autumn's maturity and fruition, followed by hideous winter. Nothing is left of summer's beauty except for that which the careful housewife preserves, the essence of roses and other flowers distilled for their perfume.

  1. Compare how the conventions of the sonnet

    Each quatrain begins with either the phrase 'thou mayest in me behold' or 'In me thou seest' these phrases reveal the speakers awareness of the aging process occurring within his body. Combined with the use of figurative language he compares this aging process to the three natural occurrences of nature, shown in each quatrain.

  2. William Shakespeare's sonnet 1 - analysis

    The speaker finishes the quatrain with, "Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel" (8). This line strongly points out to the subject that he or she is selfishness. The mass use of the word "thy" and the irony of alliterating "sweet" and "self" draws the readers' attention to the subject's morbid selfishness.

  1. Are there any ways in which you consider that experiences conveyed by the sonnets, ...

    'Let me not the marriage of true minds' is a sonnet about true love which never dies. The sonnet makes some strong links with the church and marriage. There are many images described within the sonnet; 'Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments: love is not

  2. Analysis of Sheakespeare's Sonnet 73 "That time of year thou mayst in me behold"

    The more vigor they display throughout life, the quicker they will run out of the drive to continue. This is the comparison Shakespeare is trying to draw, with both one?s vitality and a fire being eventually killed by the thing that used to nourish it.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work