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The Sonnet - Essay Example

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‘Sonnet 18’ by William Shakespeare could be analyzed from different perspectives, but its form is one of the critical elements that give the poem the structure of a narrative with a distinct beginning, development of ideas, and a proper conclusion. Therefore, the form of…
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The Sonnet
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Download file to see previous pages . A line of poetry that repeatedly uses an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable is called an iambic line. (Harrison, 68)
The basic form of traditional Italian sonnets was different from the English or Shakespearean sonnet. “The Italian sonnet has two parts: an eight-line stanza called an octave and a six-line stanza called a sestet.” (Elizabeth and Hamilton, 263) However, its British originators introduced other elements related to human lives as well, and this required the traditional form of the sonnet to evolve accordingly.
Consequently, the form of the sonnet changed to interweave multiple themes, for instance, in Sonnet 18, the principal themes are: beauty, life, death and eternity; while each theme is dealt in distinct quartos in a different way. This Sonnet like other Shakespearean sonnets has 14 lines in iambic pentameter, which are divided into three quatrains, followed by a couplet. The different parts of Sonnet 18 cater to different stages of the development and transition of thought or the central idea of the poem. In the first quarto of Sonnet 18, the poet introduces an object of comparison ‘summer’s day’ with his beloved’s beauty and analyzes different perspectives of this comparison.
The use of comparatives like ‘more lovely and more temperate’ (2) and superlatives like ‘too short’ (4) enhance the comparison between the beauty of the poet’s beloved and the summer’s day. Hence, a summer’s day acts as a stimulant for the poet that becomes so inspired by its beauty that he deems it fit to be compared with his beloved’s beauty. However, once he begins to compare their beauties, he realizes that his beloved exalts in so many ways.
The idea continues to develop in the second quarto where the emphasis switches from beauty to glory of a summer’s day. According to the poet, some days might be brighter than others, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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