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Comparing Sonnets with the Themes of Immorality and Love

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Comparing Sonnets with the Themes of Immorality and Love Not many people know what a sonnet is. It is actually a special form of poem; it contains fourteen lines and a Volta. It is designed to have a tight rhyming scheme but not as so it is apparent when reading it. There are two styles of sonnet, Shakespearian and Petrach. These poems I have studied are a mixture of both but they all contain the emotions and messages of immortality and love through the telling of personal stories. The first poem "One Day I Wrote Her Name Upon the Strand", deals with the ideas of immortality through the love you share with someone. Spenser bases the sonnet on trying to prove a point with his spouse; "A moral thing so to immortalise". It sees the character try to write the name of the woman he loves on the beach. This is a symbol of him trying to prove his side of the argument, but the sea comes and washes it away, much like the idea of time destroying all, as his wife said it would. He tries again but this time with a different hand, this is him changing his style to see if it will work, but it doesn't; "But came the sea and made my pains his prey" ...read more.


Browning splits the poem into different rhyming stanzas, each one expressing the different feelings of love for her man; "I lobe thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach", These are all physical measures Browning uses to give the reader something palpable to imagine about the man she is describing. Throughout the poem Browning makes frequent references to religion and God; "Lost saints", "Ideal grace", "if God chooses", "Praise". This creates a link between the passion she feels for her man and the passion for which she hold he religion and faith. Also, Browning uses words such as; "Praise", "Grace", "Purely" and "Soul". These words reflect happy feeling and make the reader feel that even when she writes about her love she's ecstatically happy. "By sun or candle light I love thee freely", This section is a metaphor for her love for this man when the times are good and when they are bad, that she will love him without feeling differently. This reinforces the idea to the readers that she loves him very deeply and that her love is true. Browning starts a large section of the lines with the words; "I love thee . . ...read more.


But cleverly Sidney doesn't write on to describe the reactions of the woman or if he even writes it, this still leaves question, has his plan worked, did he find what he was looking for. The ways in which Browning describes her love is very similar to the way William Shakespeare describes love in his poem "Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Mind". Shakespeare sets down what could be described as guidelines, for what true love is and isn't; "Love is not love . . . . . . . O no, it is an ever-fixed mark". That even in death it still lives and it is strongest of all things; "Within his bending sickle's compass come". This statement links in with the final line of "How Do I Love Thee" that love after death is possible. Shakespeare is so confident in his feelings that he states; "If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved". I have enjoyed studying these sonnets and found seeing the links between them to be very interesting. I look forward studying more poems on immortality and love. ?? ?? ?? ?? David Linton-Smith Sonnet Coursework ...read more.

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