Essay, Pages 4 (928 words)
“The sonnet is the perfect poetic form to express love. ” Evaluate up to four sonnets of your choice in light of this quotation. The sonnet is a poem, which always consists of fourteen lines and has ten syllables in each line. It is the ideal form to express the poet’s true emotions because a sonnet is a very tight form of writing and it consists of a very compact structure. The sonneteer has to craft his/her expressive feelings into only fourteen lines, which makes the writing extremely emotional and strong.
Fourteen lines form a complete poem, because of its rounded structure and its even, structural number. There are two forms of sonnets, one being the Shakespearian and the other being the Petrarchan. The Shakespearian contains three quatrains and one final couplet. All the three quatrains have focused on different aspects containing a slightly different subject; yet they will somehow be linked right the way through. Although, to end of the sonnet, the final couplet will end with a twist, perhaps emphasising either sorrow or heartbreak.
The pattern of the Shakespearian sonnet is 4-4-4-2.
The Petrarchan sonnet consists of an octave, which are the first eight lines and a sestet, which are the last six lines. The turning point comes at the end of the octave. Often, the pause is positioned in various places throughout the sonnet, and usually this type of sonnet has an arranged rhyming technique. The Petrarchan sonnet I am about to evaluate is by a sonneteer called Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
They are called ‘How do I love thee? ‘ and ‘If Thou Must Love Me. ‘ Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born on March 6th, in 1806. She was the eldest daughter of Edward and Mary Moulton-Barrett.
She was a fairly talented child, reading rapidly and writing odes at the age of nine. At 15, Elizabeth contracted some sort of disease. Elizabeth was much slower to recover for some reason, and, it was around then that she started talking about her constant illness. However, she never let anything stop her from reading and writing. Later in her life, she married Robert Browning and six months after the wedding, Robert’s mother died and in order to cheer Robert up, Elizabeth presented him with the “Sonnets from the Portuguese” that she had written during their engagement.
Wilfred Scawen Blunt wrote the other sonnet I am going to evaluate. This Shakespearian type sonnet is called ‘Farewell to Juliet. ‘ Wilfrid Scawen Blunt was born in 1840 and died in 1922. He was an English poet and a political writer. His poetry is noted for its emotional strength, which includes The Love Sonnets of Proteus, written in 1880 and The Wind and the Whirlwind, written in 1883. As a result of the sonnet containing only fourteen lines, the sonneteer has to express all of their emotions in a concise manner.
This way, the poet states true, factual feelings. ‘All white and fresh and virginally plain. ‘ Wilfrid Blunt expresses his emotions in a very factual way, mainly emphasising the visual aspect of his love. This quote symbolises his love in many ways. ‘White,’ fresh’ and ‘virginally plain’ symbolise purity, clarity and some relevance to innocence. Wilfred Blunt’s words are thought out and uses of imagery are often used in his sonnets. In sonnets, imagery is used extremely often.
This is an excellent device of writing because it helps the reader understand what the sonneteer is trying to explain. For example, if someone reading the sonnet has never experienced love and the sonneteer explains the feeling of a love with imagery, it helps the reader understand. This is because the reader, will, without doubt relate to the imagery used. Sometime adjectives add to the feeling. ‘It was the reddest rose in all the world. ‘ By the sonneteer expressing his love in that way, it is perfect for those who have never experienced love.
This is because they can now relate to the rose and get a feel for what love feels like. For someone who has never experienced love still knows and can identify what a rose is, therefore can understand what the sonneteer is stating. Factual and true feelings in a sonnet express how it is a perfect poetic form to express love, because the sonneteer has to structure their feelings and emotions into such a tight, compact structure of writing, therefore the words are meaningful and full of strong emotion.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s love is expressed in the sonnet ‘How Do I Love Thee? ‘ with extremely strong feelings. This is shown by the way she counts and quantifies her love: ‘Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height,’ This furthermore shows that she loves him with all her heart, and it proves how much she loves him by having to count the ways in which she does. Her love felt for him is tri-dimensional; this meaning in three ways that she loves him, ‘to the depth, breadth and height.’
Elizabeth expresses her love with a strong sense of passion in this particular sonnet. The strength of the writing shows so much power towards the feel for love. Even though a sonnet is written as fourteen lines, the strength used in her writing makes the reader feel that the words are almost spilling over the limit of a sonnet. The intensity of the sonnet seems so passionate and meaningful that the reader thinks there are more words than there actually are. Elizabeth uses extremes of emotions to express her feelings.