Monday, December 3, 2012

poetry: on sonnets

We briefly discussed sonnets in class today. There are three different types of sonnets: Shakespearean (English), Petrarchan (Italian), and the Villanelle. Of these, Shakespearean is the most common. Go to this website and choose a Shakespearean sonnet:

Tell me which sonnet you chose (refer to it by its number, e.g., "Sonnet 18"), then briefly summarize what the sonnet is about. Answer the following questions:
1. What is the overall topic?
2. Write a thesis for the sonnet (i.e., if Shakespeare were to have a thesis for the poem, what would it be? What's his main argument about his topic here?).
3. Tell me one literary element he employs and briefly describe what effect it has on the poem (e.g., The use of irony reveals his skepticism of the woman's love).

This blog is due no later than tomorrow, Tuesday December 4 at 8am. 


  1. In Sonnet 35, Shakespeare writes to a woman about how he has messed up over an issue, and how he asks for forgiveness from her.
    Thesis- Through imagery about beautiful things having imperfect qualities, Shakespeare shows how he has done something wrong to a woman by comparing himself to one of these objects that are not perfect. Shakespeare uses metaphors to compare and show how he himself is not perfect, and how he can do wrong actions.

  2. In sonnet XVIII William shapespere uses metaphores to convay his point of writing this poem to a beautiful woman. The argument Shakespere would have for this poem would be that the woman he is writing about is more beautiful than anyone else. The metaphores Shakespere uses reveal the womans beauty.

  3. Sonnet 141

    The speaker is having a fight between his senses and understanding versus his heart and feelings. The speaker has found a woman that he doesn't think is visually attractive, verbally interesting, or sexually appealing, yet his heart has fallen in love with this woman and he has become totally en-captivated. Thus the battle between his senses and heart.

    Through the five senses, and cutting diction that show the internal fight between flesh and true love, the speaker battles between what his head and heart are feeling.

    The speaker uses cutting diction to appeal to the five senses. This allows the speaker help the reader understand his pain and internal conflict.

  4. Sonnet 30
    1. The speaker tends to bring up bad past memories in times of quit, but a good friend gets rid of these bad memories.
    2. To often I bring up the bad moments of my life when I have time to think, but when I think of you my dear friend, all my troubles seem to fade.
    3. The poet uses descriptive diction to communicate when he tends to bring up these bad memories.

  5. Sonnet 12
    1. Beauty fades with time.
    2. Then of thy beauty do I question make,
    That thou among the wastes of time must go,
    3. Shakespeare uses before and after comparisons to show what happens after time and it adds to the deepening fear that everything fades away.

  6. Sonnet 40
    1. The speaker addresses another man that has stolen his "loves" even though he didn't gain anything by doing so.
    2. Although Shakespeare usually writes clearly about the meaning of love, this sonnet challenges the true definitions of the word.
    3. Shakespeare uses a sarcastic tone and rhetorical questions to achieve his purpose. "What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?"

  7. Sonnet 21
    1. The sonnet describes the love someone has for another person and how they are inseparable from their lover.
    2. O, how thy love is unpardonable from me, like that of a mother with a child at her hip.
    3. The poet uses imaginative imagery to convey his/her feelings toward the other person in the poem.

  8. Sonnet CXLVII.

    1. The authors broken heart is compared to certain health-care generalities. However the concept here is that the heart cannot be repaired.

    2. Through a coextensive analogy between well-being and the emotional self, Shakespeare generates a specific nuance of a broken heart through generic imagery exemplified through a bitter tone that longs for the lover which cannot be obtained.

    3. The tone is one of a longing repetition in which the author is constantly employing the usage of similes to create a specific syllogism between the broken heart and physical health.

  9. Sonnet 12:
    The Overall topic is that beauty passes with time, and time passes quickly.
    Thesis - Sieze the day and how you feel now, because nothing lasts forever.
    Shakespeare uses a lot of personification in this poem to show how time passes for everything (ie: the trees, beauty, etc). By telling it as if they're a person, it makes it more relatable for the reader.

  10. Sonnet LXI:
    -The beauty of the speaker`s lover and its burden on the speaker
    -Your beauty is so great that it physically exhausts me.
    -The use of irony (obvious in my thesis) serves to fully convey JUST HOW BEAUTIFUL the woman is. It`s a beauty that most of us have never experienced before.

  11. Sonnet 12:
    The overall topic of Sonnet 12 is that beauty always passes with time. If you're beautiful once, it can be gone by tomorrow. This Sonnet goes along with The Picture of Dorian Gray because the one thing that Gray did not learn was that beauty shouldn't last forever.
    Shakespeare drives the point home that beauty will not last and it shouldn't be relied upon. The outside isn't always as important as the inside.
    Shakespeare compares and contrasts to prove his point. Too bad Dorian Gray didn't read this sonnet.

  12. Sonnet 1
    - He wants to have kids, that way his face and family will carry on.
    - Your rose-like beauty should be given to others, so that it doesn't fade away.
    - "That thereby beauty's rose might never die," is a metaphor and he is saying that she is so beautiful he doesn't want her beauty to disappear, but that it won't die, therefore they should have a kid.