Online Custom «Sonnets» Essay Sample


For the comparison and contrast analysis of two poems written by an extremely famous poet William Shakespeare, there were chosen his two sonnets: eighteenth and one hundred thirtieth. William Shakespeare´s works are all very emotional and contain deep feelings or at least reflect them. Reading the abovementioned sonnets carefully, one can see that they have certain similarities and differences. Besides, these differences and similarities have a significant meaning for the entire sonnets.

Reading both sonnets aloud, one can see that the sound really matters in them. In fact, the sound plays a great role in all prose and poetry works. Usually, it does not enhance the meaning, but refers much to feelings and the general perception of the poem. Since both Sonnet 130 and Sonnet 18 are written in iambic pentameter, the poems have certain rhythms and are smooth, which is the first important similarity between the analyzed sonnets. The sound of these two poems is perfect and elegantly presents the poetry. In addition, it works impeccably with the leading themes of the sonnets. The sound of the poems is fulfilled with lightness even when the image presented by the speaker is unpleasant or odd. The significance of this similarity is that it makes the poems easier to read, and thus to understand. The sentences throughout the poems are not divided; besides, the structure of the sentences helps both poems to flow smoothly, which is rather important for communicating the author´s ideas (Blades 34).

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In both poems, the author uses such a pattern of structure as repetition. For instance, in Sonnet 18, he repeats the word ´sometime´ several times; in Sonnet 130, Shakespeare makes the repetition of the words ´my mistress´, ´red,´ and ´roses´. In both cases, this literary device is one more technique that the poet used in order to make the poems and their arguments more effectual. Repeating these words and phrases, the author enhances the monotony in his speech about love and makes it look as if the apparent comparisons themselves are rhythmic. The rhyming scheme of both poems is ´a-b-a-b-c-d-c-d-e-f-e-f-g-g´ (Blade 73). The enduring rhyming in the layout of a-b-a-b adds to the continuity of the full poems, making them seem flowing and smooth. Due to this poem rhyme, the sonnets are developed and structured. However, textual effect of rhyming is the most significant contribution of this repetition in terms of the content of the sonnets. The last couplets of both poems have a rhyme scheme that differs from other lines of the sonnets – g-g. For readers, it is important to know that in classic sonnets, the last two lines conclude the entire poem’s argument.

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Moreover, the poems are written in the first person, which has two key effects on the entire sonnets. First and foremost, it makes the main issue of the poems seem universal; in case the author had chosen the third person for his poems, they would be specific. Secondly, this structural pattern makes the poems more expressive and open. Expressing his ideas in the third person, the poet would make the sonnets be out of his experience, and thus seem rather distant. The sentences in both sonnets are relatively long, which harmonizes the intricate ideas that are expressed throughout the poems, and more fully expands one idea within one sentence. Furthermore, punctuation in the poemsalso plays a great role. Although the punctuation is different in the analyzed poems, in both sonnets, it still contributes to the smooth flow of the literary works. The important fact is that in Sonnet 130, the author does not directly speak to his lady of the heart. By contrast, in Sonnet 18, Shakespeare´s talk is a direct speech to his mistress.

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William Shakespeare uses heightened language in both of the analyzed sonnets. The usage of such language creates in both poems a stricter and significant tone that rightly shows the serious nature of the sonnets. By contrast, ordinary words would detract from the general impression while heightened language only compliments it.The poet employed a wide range of language techniques in order to give emphasis to his arguments in the poems; the interesting choice of words is one of them. The author uses the word to invoke several diverse images and produce several dissimilar effects.

Regarding the themes of the sonnets, although there are some themes that are common for both poems, there are themes that differ. For instance, Sonnet 130 reveals such themes as love, appearances, femininity and women, writing, and literature. Sonnet 18 develops the ideas of love, writing and literature, time, and the natural world and a man. As one can see, the common themes for both sonnets are love as well as writing and literature. The reason is that these two themes are the prevailing and major themes of all Shakespearean sonnets.

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To conclude, one can state that the sonnets number 130 and 18 written by William Shakespeare have more similarities than differences. Though these two poems are very different in their ideas and content, they still have much in common. The poems are similar in terms of numerous aspects of poetry writing, such as themes, literary devices, patterns of structure, rhythm, rhyme, and sound. Moreover, all these similarities and even a small amount of differences have a certain reason and considerably contribute to the general perception of the sonnets.

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