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GCSE: Shakespeare's Sonnets

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  1. Examine Shakespeare’s representation of love in at least two sonnets you have studied

    "So long as men can breath or eyes can see, So long lives this, and gives life to thee." This depicts that how ever long people exist and are able to read, his poem will live on and by doing so; his love will live on because when people read his poem, they are reading him declaring his love. "Love alters not with his breeze houres and weeks, But beares it out even to the edge of doome." This depicts that love does not change over time, it is more positive than time, and can defeat time. It also says in "Let me not.." "If this be error upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved."

    • Word count: 987
  2. Shakespeare's sonnet 60

    Time is an unseen thing of no substance. To help us understand time the poet has likened it to waves breaking on the shore, we can see the waves; see the beauty of the waves. One wave, other waves following on and on but never that 'one wave' again. I think there is much sadness in these opening lines, they reflect time seen in the waves and time unseen in the minutes, they are comparisons of time passing. Lines 3 & 4 Each changing place with that which goes before, In sequent toil all forwards do contend.

    • Word count: 663
  3. Compare the content, style, and language of two pre-twentieth century sonnets

    Oh! That I soon may reach thy world serene, Poor wearied pilgrim-in this toiling scene! 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, just by being there and giving hope of a peaceful existence in death. As you can see, the language seems very old fashioned to us nowadays, but wasn't when it was written.

    • Word count: 1102
  4. Sonnet 130 analysis - William Shakespeare satirises the convention of a traditional love poem

    Overall, appearance does not matter where true love is concerned. We normally expect poets to praise the woman they love by comparing them with natures most beautiful things. However, in this sonnet Shakespeare is frank and honest. The sonnet presents us with a number of cliché inversions. Shakespeare opens the poem with a bold statement about the eyes of his mistress and how they are ‘nothing like the sun.’ And continues this way to present her attractions honestly following a typical Blazon style. Her lips are red but ‘Coral is far more red than her lips.’ Her breasts (a feature if a woman body that would show immense beauty during Shakespeare period)

    • Word count: 725
  5. Love in Romeo and Juliet and Sonnets 18, 29 and 130.

    The plot revolves around to ?star-cross?d lovers? who fall in love at first sight. Love is first expressed at the beginning of the play through the prologue of Act 1. Here, Shakespeare includes the phrase ?star-cross?d lovers? referring to two couples that are the centre point characters of the play. He is using a metaphor to get across the fact that the two lovers will have a relationship that will be thwarted by outside forces. The chances of their relationship growing into something fruitful are unlikely and in turn empower the affair the two fall in to.

    • Word count: 2304
  6. William Shakespeares sonnet My Mistresss Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun illustrates that the perception of beauty is subjective and true love is blind.

    negative contrasts between her and items normally perceived as beautiful and then shifts to describe his intense feelings of love for her. The speaker, a man in love with his mistress, portrays the physical characteristics of his mistress and the affection that he has for her. The speaker ironically contrasts his mistress to items of nature which are commonly perceived as beautiful: ?My Mistress?s eyes are nothing like the sun? and ?coral is far more red than her lips red.? Initially, his tone seems negative and insulting.

    • Word count: 483
  7. What View of Love Does Shakespeare Present in Sonnet 116 (Let Me Not)?

    The reference to marriage at the start makes us wonder whether his lover was planning to get married. If so, the start of the poem could take on a more sinister tone, almost as if Shakespeare is threatening to ?admit impediments? to the wedding, and questioning whether it is in fact a ?marriage of true minds?. The sinister effect is increased by the use of the subjunctive (let) and conjunction (to), which makes ?let me not? dependent on whether or not the marriage it is, in fact, a ?marriage of true minds?, or a more lustful, physically inclined love of ?rosy lips and cheeks?.

    • Word count: 621
  8. How were some sonnets used to express different views on love?

    This sonnet takes the form of a Shakespearean sonnet - the first of which were composed by Sir Thomas Wyat (1503-1542) and Henry Howard (1517-1547) ? written in iambic pentameter, containing three four-line quatrains with a strict rhyme scheme and an ending rhyming couplet. Shakespeare uses this strict form to express his love, allowing the reader to focus more on his words and message than the structure. The sonnet starts off with the question, ?Shall I compare thee to a summer?s day?? which Shakespeare then goes on to answer in great detail.

    • Word count: 2466

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