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

Comparison of two shakespearian sonnets

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and contrast two pre-twentieth century sonnets by Shakespeare. Ensure you consider the significant aspects of the poet's style, including his intention and the tradition of the sonnet. A sonnet, from the Italian 'sonneto' meaning "little song", has been a dominant form of verse since the thirteenth century. Sonnets have a fixed form consisting of fourteen lines of iambic pentameter and a specific rhyme scheme depending on the type of sonnet it is. The three types are Spenserian, Petrachian or Shakespearian. In the sixteenth century, Shakespeare deviated from the form and created his own form of sonnet. He wrote over one hundred and fifty in his lifetime and became a master of the genre. Though usually written on the subject of love, sonnets are sometimes also written about beauty and nature. The themes of sonnet 130 - my mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun'- are masked underneath Shakespeare mocking the unrealistic comparisons written by other poets of the time. It is only in line's 13 and 14 we realise that he is in fact praising his lover for being real and unlike the woman who are described in unrealistic fashions. However, in sonnet 18 -'shall I compare thee to a summer's day?' the theme of love is introduced from the opening line of the poem. This distinctly questioning line shows how Shakespeare uses a question to deviate from the conventional sonnet layout and add interest to his sonnet. ...read more.

Middle

In sonnet 8, imagery is used for an entirely different purpose. It used imagery of nature to describe the beauty of his subject. From the opening line, the poem is an extended metaphor. The first line creates the image of the summer's day of which the recipient is compared to and the following lines continue with that idea. This is completely different to sonnet 130 in which ideas are brought up then dismissed immediately. Shakespeare examines the extent to which he can call his love as perfect as a summer's day but realises that though it is used by hundreds of other poets it is not a very fitting example because nature's beauty inevitably fades away. He also uses personification in several cases, for example 'Nor shall death brag', death is an abstract noun and has been personified and given an emotion- to brag. Death has also been turned into a proper noun so that it seems more personal and powerful, the recipients beauty beats the power of death is the message Shakespeare is trying to give out. The subject of the sonnet's gender is also hinted at- in line 6 we are told about 'his gold complexion', which could refer to either the sun or to the subject. It could hint that the recipient was a male because the ancient sun god Apollo was imagined as a beautiful young man, which is apt. Shakespeare created his own form of sonnet and became a master. ...read more.

Conclusion

In sonnet 130, the rhythms in the poem are more like those of spoken language and the poem flows as if it were spoken -this is the aim of the iambic pentameter. However, in sonnet 18, the language is far more formal in comparison to 130, which could suggest a greater distance between Shakespeare are the subject of sonnet 18. In 130, the recipient is referred to as 'My mistress', whereas in sonnet 18 there are no possessive prefix's comparable to that in 130. The reason why there is colloquial language in sonnet 130 could be because the recipient is not of such a high class as the recipient in 18 and the language used will be far simpler so the meaning could be put across, or it could possibly be to echo the idea that his lover does not have to be fancy and be described with long, ridiculous words for him to love her. For example, in sonnet 130 words used to describe the lover are 'reeks', something that brings to mind an awkward stench, whereas in 18 'temperate', 'untrimm'd' and 'eternal' are words used, all with far more syllables within them and sounding far more impressive than 'reeks'. To conclude, though the two Shakespearian sonnets I have just examined share the same main theme, they differ in language used, Shakespeare's intentions when writing the poem, gender of the recipient, imagery used and other figurative language. However, they both revolve around the same subject of praising a lover but go about it in very different ways. ?? ?? ?? ?? By Celia Jones 11F ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Shakespeare's 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 GCSE Shakespeare's Sonnets essays

  1. Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 18

    However, in order to maintain the rhythm of the poem the word was modified in order to allow two syllables. This technique is not used in Sonnet 18, which in my opinion pays tribute to its natural flow and almost flawless nature.

  2. The Presentation of Women in Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 and Griffin's Sonnet 39

    The poets of both poems are very skillful in writing their sonnets, however, the way how Shakespeare and Griffin presented to us demonstrates their different attitude and values for woman.

  1. Discuss the use of sonnets through the ages.

    This sonnet is about the elevation of his deceased wife, it is about how he dreamt he was with her, then when he awoke he realised she was not there. He compares his wife to a saint and throughout the sonnet he elevates her by comparing her to things that are pure and innocent.

  2. Shakespearian Love Sonnets.

    This means that 'Death' will never be able to brag that she is going to die next as she can defy time because her beauty is eternal and everlasting. Every image used by Shakespeare to describe the woman is an example of hyperbole which is deliberate exaggeration.

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

    exist 'thy mild and placid light sheds a soft calm upon my troubled breast'. 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.

  2. Compare Sonnet 130 by Shakespeare and the Glasgow Sonnet by Edwin Morgan.

    expressed by the line 'black block', black is represents death and funerals, so this being put along with the block is showing that this place is attending its own funeral due to the neglect its facing. In the sestet there is more examples of how the place has been neglected

  1. Love in Romeo and Juliet and Sonnets 18, 29 and 130.

    The sonnet is full of apparent insults, which was an absurd use of the sonnet form in the Elizabethan times, where In the fourth line, Shakespeare says that ?black wires grow? on his lovers head. If the metaphor was used to show love in this sonnet, the poet would not

  2. How were some sonnets used to express different views on love?

    the second quatrain, saying it is ?an ever-fixed nark?it is the star to every wandering bark?. Similar to Sonnet 18, this poem seems to have been purposefully written in a way that people would have been familiar with. The rhetorical device ?O no!?, not only draws our attention to the

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