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Compare the content, style, and language of two pre-twentieth century sonnets

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Introduction

Claire Weller 11E 2nd December Mrs Taylor Centre no. 52433 Candidate no. 7144 Assignment: Compare the content, style, and language of two pre-twentieth century sonnets There are two types of sonnets, Petrarchan and Shakespearian. The Shakespearian sonnets are famous throughout the world today. These comprise of three quatrains and a concluding heroic couplet. The quatrains rhyme either ABAB CDCD EFEF, or ABBA CDDC EFFE; the couplet will be GG. An example of the first rhyme scheme is Charlotte Smith's, To the moon: Queen of the silver bow! -by thy pale beam, Alone and pensive, I delight to stray, And watch thy shadows trembling in the stream, Or mark the floating clouds that cross thy way. And while I gaze, thy mild and placid light Sheds a soft calm upon my troubled breast; And oft I think-fair planets of the night, That in thy orb, the wretched may have rest: The sufferers of the earth perhaps may go, Released by death-to thy benignant sphere; And the sad children of Despair and Woe Forget, in thee, their cup of sorrow here. Oh! ...read more.

Middle

I feel that the language is very appropriate to the feel and mood of the poem. If she had used similes, this would have taken away from the mystique of the atmosphere. The use of metaphors helps to give the unrealistic and vague mood to the sonnet and the poets fanciful ideas. The poet keeps to the sonnet form extremely well, i.e. stray and way, breast and rest. She uses metaphors throughout the sonnet, like 'placid light', 'troubled breast', 'benignant sphere', and 'cup of sorrow'. Another style of sonnet is the Petrarchan sonnet. This comprises an octave followed by a sestet. The octave rhymes ABBAABBA, whilst the sestet is usually either CDECDE, or CDCDCD. An example of the second sestet style is a translation by Charlotte Nooth, her third SONNET From the Spanish of Quevedo: Yes Anna, you're obey'd, this voice no more Shall tell my tale of sorrow to your ear, From me, of sleepless nights no more you'll hear; My sighs are hush'd, and all my 'plainings o'er, Not now for works of pity shall implore; The timid glance ...read more.

Conclusion

The tone of the sonnet is a little aggressive and almost sarcastic. You get the impression that Anna's suitor is relieved that he will no longer have to endure her cold responses to his feelings and charms. This is very different to Smith's poem, which is very calm and wistful. Nooth's language is also appropriate to the tone that she is trying to achieve in her sonnet. It tells exactly how the suitor is feeling, in a very direct manner. I think that the Petrarchan style suits this very well, as it is less rambling, than the Shakespearean. The fact that it is split into two stanzas gives a more direct approach and is more appropriate to speech than thoughts or dreams. The change in rhyming scheme emphasises the change in his speech. In the first stanza the suitor tells Anna that she will not hear or see him anymore. In the second stanza the mood swings a little, where he tells us that he had hoped things would be different and explains why 'My suit I cease, my faith I disengage'. ...read more.

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