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Compare and contrast the theme of love and/or loss in a range of pre-1914 poetry.

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Comparing Sonnets Compare and contrast the theme of love and/or loss in a range of pre-1914 poetry. A sonnet is a 14 line poem with a strict, but changeable, rhyme scheme and they mostly have themes about love and/or loss. The sonnet form has always had a place in English poetry since the sixteenth century. The greatest day for sonnets was the Elizabethan period as thousands of sonnets were written in this era. In this period many poets, such as Edmund Spenser, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Georgina Rossetti, Sir Philip Sidney, Henry Howard and William Shakespeare bought innovative ideas about writing sonnets. I will be looking at three poets in this essay, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Georgina Rossetti and William Shakespeare. I will be analysing Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnet, "Sonnet 1", Christina Georgina Rossetti's sonnet, "Remember" and William Shakespeare's sonnet "Sonnet 71". There are two types of sonnets; the Italian sonnet and the English sonnet. Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnet and Christina Georgina Rossetti's sonnet are both Italian sonnets. Whilst William Shakespeare's is an English sonnet which can be identified by the fact that the last two lines rhyme. I will start by writing about Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She had 11 siblings and was the eldest child of Edward Moulton Barrett; he was a very wealthy man because he made his money from Jamaican plantations. Barrett Browning was born near Durham and lived during her young years at Hope End, Herefordshire. ...read more.


The octave of the sonnet is basically talking about how she became "sad" when she thought about the "shadow" of illness which she has lived under. The sestet of the sonnet discusses how she thought "death" was going to take her but in actual fact it was "love" from her husband, Robert Browning. Once more there is sibilance with the words "shadow", "straightaway" and "shape". The capitalisation of the letter 's' in the word "shape" demonstrates that the thing behind Barrett Browning was something unearthly (e.g. death). There is alliteration of the letter 'b' in the words "behind" and "backwards". Elizabeth Barrett Browning uses the word "silver" in her final line as it is her husband talking and he is the hope in her life. The word silver puts an image of something pure and treasurable into your mind. The words "death" and "love" are used in the final line and it brings into light just how close the two are. The tone of the sonnet is sad but in the sestet the tone lightens a little. The rhyme scheme of the sonnet is as follows; ABBA, CDDC, EFEFEF. This pattern makes it easy for the reader to have a flow with the sonnet. Christina Georgina Rossetti was born in London on December 5th, 1830. She was a dedicated associate of the Church of England. You can see how strong her beliefs were because when her fianc�, James Collinson, became a Roman Catholic she broke off the engagement. ...read more.


But the two sonnets also contrast as "Remember" is an Italian sonnet whilst "Sonnet 71" is an English sonnet. Sibilance is used in the second line of "Sonnet 71" with the words "surly sullen" as well as assonance because of the repetition of the letter 'u'. The effect of this is that it creates a hissing sound and it slows the reader whilst they are reading. Also there is repetition of the letter 'w' in the words "warning" and "world". There is repetition of the word "vile" and "vilest". The effect of this is that the words stick in your mind. Once more the letter 'c' has repetition on the words "compound" and "clay". The effect of this is that it aids in memory. Again the letter 'l' has repetition on the words "let", "love" and "life". The words "wise world" has repetition of the letter 'w'. Overall, all three sonnets are about love but 'Sonnet 71' and 'Remember' are about love and loss so they are more similar. Barrett Browning talks about her life and how it is so sad until she met her husband, whereas both Shakespeare and Rossetti talk about how they want their loved ones to not be sad and upset when they die. They say they would rather have people forget them and be happy then remember them and be sad. Moreover, Barrett Browning and Rossetti's sonnets are Italian whilst Shakespeare's is English. ?? ?? ?? ?? Saimah Sarwar 10a English Coursework ...read more.

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