From the sonnets you have studied compare and comment upon three poems, explain why you think they are successful show which you prefered and why.

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        Before I compare these sonnets I must understand exactly what a sonnet is. A sonnet is a type of poem, which poets often use to express their feelings. The themes of most sonnets are subjects such as war and death or love and happiness. Sonnets are useful because the poet can tell the reader what they want to say in just fourteen short lines.

        The person who wrote the first sonnet is unknown but the form of the sonnet originated in Italy in the thirteenth century, a long time before Shakespeare was born. The sonnet first reached England in the sixteenth century courtesy of Sir Thomas Wyatt and the Earl of Surrey.

        Sonnets are a form of poem, which are different from all others. They always consist of fourteen lines, and each line has ten syllables.    

Each line also has a regular pattern where the first syllable is unstressed and is then followed by a stressed syllable. Once this is repeated five times in each line it is known as an iambic pentameter.

        The most famous form of sonnet is the Shakespearean sonnet and is known as this because it is the pattern that Shakespeare used for many of his sonnets. The sonnets that I have chosen are all Shakespearean and written by Shakespeare.

I am going to compare three sonnets that are all by Shakespeare, which are ‘Shall I compare thee…?’, ‘Let me not’ and ‘Act I Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet’. I have selected these poems because I believe that they will make an interesting comparison, as they are all love sonnets with different purposes.

Each poem has love as he main theme but they are written with a different purpose or reason. “Shall I compare thee…?” is written by Shakespeare to the person who he loved although we do not know who this person is. Shakespeare’s aim of the sonnet was to teach people the power of words. You can tell this in the rhyming couplet at the end of he sonnet:

“So long as men can breath or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and gives life to thee.”


What Shakespeare means by this is that as long as mankind exists this sonnet will exist and therefore Shakespeare’s love will still exist. He is showing us how words can defeat time.  

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“Let me not”, however has a different purpose. Instead of Shakespeare talking about his love, he chooses to teach people that ‘true love’ is the only love that will last. Again Shakespeare gets to the point of the sonnet at the beginning as the first quatrain talks about how love is not true love if there are any doubts:

“Admit impediments, love is not love

  Which alters when it alteration findes.”

In these lines with the use of enjambment Shakespeare tells us how people who admit their impediments to each other should be married but ...

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