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Elizabethan Sonnets

Uploaded by Admin on Dec 05, 1999

In Elizabethan Age, the sonnets had advanced into a form with new metric and rhyme scheme that was departing from Petrarchan sonnets. Yet, Elizabethan sonnets still carried the tradition of Petrarchan conceit. Petrarchan conceit was a figure used in love poems consisting detailed yet exaggerated comparisons to the lover's mistress that often emphasized the use of blazon. The application of blazon would emphasize more on the metaphorical perfection of the mistresses due to the natural objects were created by God, hence when the mistresses were better than nature, then there would be nothing better than the mistresses. Sonnet 130 written by William Shakespeare developed into an anti-Petrarchan position by denying the image of Petrarchan poet's mistresses who always were ideal and idolized. Any lover's mistress in Petrachan poet's sonnet would expect to have eyes that vying the sun, lips that are redder than coral, breasts as white as snow, and hair that shines. Nevertheless, the speaker created his mistress to a contradictory image of an ideal lover. The speaker insisted that his "mistress' eyes" were "noting like the sun. Coral" was "far more red than her lips' red" and "if snow be white," then "her breasts" were "dun." He also commented that "if hairs be wires, black wires" grew "on her head." Furthermore, her skin was dark and not smooth; her breath was unpleasant too. These descriptions summed up to an objectionable image of her, which suggested that the speaker was trying to portray his beloved to a person who was uglier than the rest of the mistresses. In addition, he described that his "mistress, when she" walked, she treaded "on the ground" which indicated his mistress was a real woman but not like the ideal goddess-like or fictional lovers that other poets created. Petrarchan sonnets consisted of an octave and a sestet with a rhyme scheme of abbaabba cdecde where at the end of the octave, there would usually be a turn in the sonnet. On the other hand, Elizabethan sonnets consisted of three quatrains with a couplet with a rhyme scheme of ababcdcdefefgg. The couplet often served as a turn in the sonnet. In sonnet 130, its couplet served as a classical twist. The couplet was contrasting to the quatrains where he implied that his mistress was not truly ugly because she was compared with the other mistresses who were artificially created by their lovers. It was only...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   12/05/1999

Category:   Poetry

Length:   3 pages (590 words)

Views:   1640

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