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Comparison of Shakespare's and Spencer's Sonnets

  • Date Submitted: 11/28/2010 10:09 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.7 
  • Words: 800
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Every human has his own way of perception when it comes to the world around him. Some of us are cynical, some are optimistical; some belive in ethical conduct and others can commit crime with no remorse. We are all different, but only some of us are able to express their interpretation of the surrounding in art, in music, in literature. Every poet expresses his ideas in a different way, but there are still some points of interaction. Comparing two sonnets by different authors and analyzing them I can find similar and contrasting features. I will try to analyze sonnet n130 by William Shakespeare and sonnet n75 by Edmund Spencer.

A sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines that follows a strict rhyme scheme and specific structure. So the two masterpieces are written in the frames of a sonnet structure and they both have fourteen lines. Another similarity is the presence of a mysterious lyrical hero "she", that both poets refer to occasionally. Spencer's lyrical hero, who is the narrator, writes "HER name upon the strand". "She" - is the love of his life, the woman, who he wants to eternize. In the sonnet the lyrical hero is naive and romantic, while "she" is more skeptical. When the narrator wrote her name on the sand, trying to eternize their love, "she" told him "that dost in vain assay", not quite believing in possibility of her eternal existence, realizing that she will sooner or later turn into dust. Shakespeare has his own "she" in the sonnet. It is the narrator's mistress. While Spencer is romantically, Shakespeare is rather ironical: during the whole sonnet he slightly degrades features of his beloved by comparing them to greater things ("my mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun, coral is far more red than her lips red…").

But on the other had there is a lot to contrast in those two sonnets. The first difference that attracts the attention is the rhyme scheme. In Spencers' sonnet the rhyme scheme is A-B-A-B-B-C-B-C-C-D-C-D-E-E. It is quite different from...


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