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

What is love? Compare and contrast Shakespeare's presentation of it's paradox in sonnets 116 and 147.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Sonnet Coursework Task:- What is love? Compare and contrast Shakespeare's presentation of it's paradox in sonnets 116 and 147. Shakespeare was born in 1564 on the 23rd of April the same date he died 52 years later. But it was only in 1590's when he started to write sonnets. He mainly wrote them during the plague as all the theatres were closed. (1592) Sonnets are lyrical poems of 14 lines with a formal rhyme scheme, expressing different aspects of a single thought, mood, or feeling, resolved or summed up in the last lines of the poem. Sonnets are generally composed in the standard metre of the language in which they are written - in English this is iambic pentameter. The there are two main forms of sonnet but these two (sonnet 116 and 147) are both written in Shakespearean form of abab, cdcd, efef, gg. Shakespeare's sonnets unlike the Italian (petrarchan) form are not structured as an octave (8 lines) followed by a sestet (6 lines) but as 3 quatrains and a rhyming couplet. Yet the first 8 lines of Shakespeare's sonnets still introduce the argument and the final lines conclude it. Within each quatrain lines 1 and 3 would rhyme as would lines 2 and 4, this continued for all 3 quatrains and the final two lines would rhyme. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare reversed the rhythm for uneasy effect and wrote about many emotions - love, fear, loss, death and jealousy. He later had a theatre in London which became the theatre capital of the world, he was the first playwright to grow rich by writing and he didn't avoid "dirt" in life. He also taught us companionship for others and our selves. In 1611- 1613 Shakespeare stopped writing mysteriously and returned to Stratford and the globe was destroyed by fire in 1613. Shakespeare died in 1616 from heavy drinking and fever, - never recovered, he neglected his self and work and unfortunately only ever saw half his plays published in his life-time but the rest of them appeared in 1623. He had only ever had three portraits of himself but still became a national icon by the 18th century. Sonnet 116 is a tightly structured argument of an ideal of love. It is famous beyond its role in the sonnets. It is often read at marriage ceremonies in the belief it celebrates ideal love. A turn of Volta is evident in "if" (116, 13). The sonnet is opened with the idea that the union of two "true" (116, 1), honest, faithful and genuine, people will not find "impediments" (116, 2), obstacles, to defect their love. This idea is followed with a statement that is very confident. ...read more.

Conclusion

This lexical set contains "disease"(147,2), "sickly"(147,4), "physician"(147,5), "prescriptions"(147,6) and "death"(147,8). The persona is "desperate" (147, 7) and stops caring as he believes he is "past care" (147, 9). The result of these feelings is seen as madness with "unrest" (147, 10), eternal torment, and that it is unrelated and different, "At random" (147, 12) to truth and reality that are "vainly expressed" (147, 12), foolishly spoken. The turn of Volta is evident by "for" (147, 13). His vows "I have sworn thee fair" (147, 13) make the disillusion suffered worse. There is also a huge disappointment apparent as he speaks directly to the loved one, dark lady, and tells her he once thought she was "bright" (147, 13) and "fair" (147, 13), but now he believes her to be "dark as hell" (147, 14) and "dark as night" (147, 14) which is again a simile. Both the sonnets have the idea of never ending love; sonnet 116 infers this by the phrase "Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks," (116, 11) while sonnet 147 conveys this with the phrases ", longing still" and "longer nurseth" (147, 1 and 2). Both sonnets also talk about love changing "bends with the remover to remove" (116, 4) and "Th'uncertain" (147, 4). In sonnet 147 love is compared to a disease "fever", "disease", "sickly appetite", "physician", "prescriptions" whereas in sonnet 116 love is painted as a more positive picture of love with it's "rosy lips and cheeks". ...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. Free essay

    Analyse Shakespeares attitude to love

    Woman here, is seen as the temptress of the forbidden fruit, whereas, the male is seen as naive and chaste. Finally, Sonnet 138 personifies the idea of 'Greek love' between men being pure and woman corrupt.

  2. Shakespeare's sonnets 18, 130 and 131. These 3 sonnets have very different messages and ...

    He continues in this fashion with the line "in some perfumes is there more delight than in the breath that from my mistress reeks"- in these fraises the poet concedes that his lovers breathe this not as sweet as some perfumes.

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

    This line also suggests she will come as herself with no make-up or masks to hide her. The treasures she brings are not important to others, but are to her; this displays her innocent, pure nature, but also demonstrates a childish aspect of her, such as a weakness.

  2. Compare how love is portrayed in Sonnet 18,

    long lives this and this gives life to thee" This is the third and final section of the poem. It gives a sort of summary to the entire poem: as long as people can see you, you will be considered beautiful and this in itself will give life to this poem.

  1. Explore aspects of the sonnet tradition through reference to a range of material you ...

    "Then on the shore, Of the wide world I stand alone, and think, Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink". (When I have fears, lines 12,13 &14) There aren't just male sonnet writers, one famous British female sonnet writer included, Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

  2. Consider the sonnet as a verse form. With examples compare the Petrarchan and ...

    see that he realised to an extent how limited the Petrarchan form was. This is shown by the rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg, because Italian is much richer in rhyming words than English, and this format makes it easier to find words that rhyme.

  1. "I will put Chaos into 14 lines"

    Knowing that this sonnet is about writing a sonnet, a different interpretation emerges. 'Him' could possibly refer to a muse since they are sources of inspiration. This muse is also the cause of the Chaos. The poet's muse has been released on this sonnet and ideas are starting to form.

  2. Immortality in Shakespeare's Sonnets. Sonnets 65,104,108, and 116 demonstrate how he has defeated ...

    Just as his words can defeat Time, his memory and true admiration cannot be taken away either. Sonnet 104 is absolutely wonderful because it?s about a man who is just thrown by his friend?s beauty no matter how much time has passed since the last time they were together.

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