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Examine the theme of love and sonnet form in any two Shakespearean and at least one petrachan sonnet

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Introduction

Examine the theme of love and sonnet form in any two Shakespearean and at least one petrachan sonnet There are two forms of sonnet, the Shakespearean and the Petrarchan. Sonnets are poems of fourteen lines with a continuous form most of which were originally written with the intention of being performed musically. They were usually known by either their first line or number as a name was rarely specified. This is particularly so for the Shakespearean ones. For the purpose of this essay I will be examining three sonnets. Two Shakespearean or English sonnets and one Petrarchan or Italian sonnet. I will be looking at 'Shall I compare thee' and 'Let me not' both written by Shakespeare and sonnet xIii by Edna St Vincent Millay. The first and most evident relationship between the sonnets is form; both Shakespearean sonnets have the standard sonnet rhyming scheme of; ababcdcdefefgg. Sonnet xIii differentiates on form however as it follows the Petrarchan sonnet form of; abbaabbacdedce. Both Shakespearean sonnets also have the standard three quatrains with a rhyming couplet at the end. ...read more.

Middle

This is also done in Millay's sonnet XI ii in the last lines where it is written 'I only know that summer sang in me'. Love is often compared to the seasons and this thought is progressed when Millay writes that being without love is like being in winter (Line 9 sonnet XI ii). Quatrains two and three of 'Shall I compare thee' remain again in the complimentary nature of one lover to another. This is achieved by the notion gathered from lines seven through nine that every beauty sometimes appears less so (due to age or illness) but his lovers beauty will never decline. The third and perhaps most difficult sonnet 'Let me not....' Deals with what love actually is. The first quatrain of this pieces implication is that true love is unchangeable; even if flaws are found your feelings do not change (' Love is not love which bends when alteration finds'). It also describes true love to not disappear if your partner suddenly wants to depart on the relationship (' Or bends with the remover to remove') ...read more.

Conclusion

'Shall I compare thee' cannot compare to these poems in this sense as it only speaks of the joy of having love. The last quatrain of 'Let me not' professes that love is there forever and will never depart ('Bears it out to the edge of doom'). Again this is mirrored in a sentence from 'shall I compare thee' this being 'But thy eternal summer shall never fade. This does not comply with our third sonnet as Millay talks of a love lost. This leads us to believe that maybe the subject of Millays sonnet was not experiencing true love as this love is no longer around. However I think that maybe Millay was again just showing a more realistic view of love then the Shakespearean sonnets. In conclusion after evaluating all three sonnets it is notable that all three sonnets can comply to each other on some theme based aspects but over all the Shakespearean sonnets had the most in common as they were both nearly identical on theme and form whereas the Petrarchan sonnet couldn't compare on some aspects of theme and obviously on aspects of form. Jackie Dunkley 11m 1 Ms Clifford English Coursework ...read more.

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