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Choose three sonnets, which have made a strong impression on you and explain they have achieved this impression?

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Introduction

English Coursework Choose three sonnets, which have made a strong impression on you and explain they have achieved this impression? The three sonnets I have chosen to use are, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" by William Shakespeare "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning "Since brass, nor stone, nor boundless sea" also by William Shakespeare. I have chosen these three sonnets because I think they all convey undying, untouchable love and yet they are all described in such different ways but somehow have the same effect. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" Shakespeare starts this sonnet with a question and all through the sonnet seems to linger on the answer instead of answering strait away. He starts the sonnet by asking himself a rhetorical question in which he compares her beauty with the most beautiful natural thing such as summer before he goes on to answer his rhetorical question as if saying why or why not. However throughout the first two quatrains he seems to explain that she is, "more lovely and more temperate" and "And summer's lease hath all too short a date:" carries on by writing ...read more.

Middle

In all three quatrains a question occurs and all questions are answered before the sonnet meets its end. "How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea, whose action is no stronger than a flower?" This question is referring to beauty, love and mortality. Shakespeare is asking if beauty and love can defeat mortality, if love and beauty can still stand out during such a rage and goes on to answer this question through the sonnet. The second quatrain talks about time and strength, it gives few examples of strong elements but then goes on to say that all these elements can be defeated by time and no matter how strong, they can't last forever. The third quatrains first line starts with a juxtaposition before going on to sorrow, "O fearful meditation, where alack," the juxtaposition is of the fearful meditation, its showing us the opposite meaning of meditation as meditation is supposed to be peaceful and not meant to be feared. The rest of this quatrain talks of death ever coming and talks of beauty again and saying maybe beauty can defy time as long as it is hidden but then time becomes personified as it says, "Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back, Or who spoil o'er beauty can forbid?" ...read more.

Conclusion

He uses summer for "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" and for "Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea" he uses strong natural elements. In the final couplet of each sonnet he uses his sonnets as an explanation of how things will last forever. In both sonnets he describes death as if it is a living-breathing thing. In "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" Shakespeare speaks of death as if it is ready to claim a life in the shadows. But in "Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea" Shakespeare personifies death using words such as "hand" and "foot". "Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade," (Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?) "Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back". (Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea). Both sonnets are more about time than love and both describe things that are overcome by time and yet love can defeat time, if the love is strong enough. "O how shall summer's honey breath holds out, against the wreckful siege of batt'ring days"(Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea). These two lines are probably talking about how something so sweet and pure can stay standing after something so forceful. ...read more.

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