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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, circa 1784. This poem is about the way in which the poet, Charlotte Smith, portrays her thoughts and feelings of the moon and also to life. She says that the moon helps to ease all the worry and misery of the unhappy 'Forget, in thee, their cup of sorrow here'. Hope of a peaceful existence in death is also portrayed 'Released by death-to thy benignant sphere'. As you can see, the language seems very old fashioned to us nowadays, but wasn't when it was written. The sonnet is describing the thoughts and feelings that the poet has about the moon, rather than the actual object. ...read more.

Middle

This poem has a very different feel to the first. It gives the impression that, either a lover or suitor has given up hope that Anna will return his love, or, that Anna's suitor has died. Either way, he can no longer be with Anna, 'My suit I cease, my faith I disengage'. The language is more direct and less fanciful than 'To The Moon'. The poet has used a lot of shortened words, to help the rhythm and rhyme, for example 'My sighs are hush'd and all my 'plainings o'er'. If the shortened words had not been used, the line would have been too long to fit the rhythm of the poem. If o'er had been over, then the rhyming scheme would not have worked. It also helps the feeling that the whole poem is literal, as if it is being spoken as we read it, we can almost hear it! This literal feeling is helped by the fact that each line is directly aimed at Anna, who we are introduced to within the first two words, 'Yes Anna, you're obey'd, this voice no more'. ...read more.

Conclusion

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! That I soon may reach thy world serene, Poor wearied pilgrim-in this toiling scene! Charlotte Smith, circa 1784 SONNET from the Spanish of Quevado 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 that spoke my bosom's fear, My altered from, wan face, and starting tear No more your heart's cold rigour shall deplore. Long time I hop'd that heart which feels for none Would feel for me, a weary pilgrimage I long endur'd, 'ere this repose was won. What time, what absence, loss of charms, what age Could not effect, your chill disdain has done; Charlotte Nooth, circa 1815 ...read more.

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