Essay on Sonnet 30 -- Literary Analysis, Shakespeare

Sonnet 31 is one of written by the English playwright and poet . It is a within the sequence. Developing an idea introduced at the end of Sonnet 30, this poem figures the young man's superiority in terms of the possession of all the love the speaker has ever experienced.

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Booth, Stephen, “Sonnet 30,” in  Yale University Press, 1977, pp. 181-83.
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Analysis of Sonnet 30 by Edmund Spenser - Anti Essays

“Sonnet 30” is part of Shakespeare’s sequence of 154 sonnets, all of which were published in 1609. The first 126 sonnets are thought to be addressed to a handsome, young aristocrat who was likely Shakespeare’s sponsor. It is not surprising then that the tone of these sonnets is exceedingly praiseworthy or obsequious toward the sponsor, and sometimes even self-effacing of the poet.

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The sonnets were written in the heyday of sonnet writing, from 1591-1597, a period beginning with Sir Philip Sydney’s Shakespeare’s contribution to the development of the English sonnet is his emphasis on friendship more than on love. Like the first 126 sonnets, “Sonnet 30” is a panegyric, that is, a form of verbal praise. The panegyrical aspect of the poem, however, is not introduced until the last couplet which serves as a punch line, that while surprising in relation to the rest of the poem, tends less to knock readers out than let them down. This probably has more to do with satisfying the sponsor than Shakespeare’s failure in this poem.

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Traditionally, Shakespearean sonnets are written in fourteen lines, with a rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg, and Sonnet 130 is no exception. Lines one and three (sun and dun), lines two and four (red and head), lines five and seven (white and delight), lines six and eight (cheeks and reeks), lines nine and eleven (know and go), lines ten and twelve (sound and ground), and lines thirteen and fourteen (rare and compare) each rhyme with one another (Caws 1141). The majority of the poem gives negative connotations. The sun, red coral, snow, roses, perfumes, music, and a goddess all bring to mind beautiful images, but the speaker’s mistress’ eyes, lips, breasts, cheeks, breath, voice, and walk are all contrasted with the descriptions of loveliness. Her eyes do not shine, her lips are not red, her breasts are not white, her cheeks are pale, her breath stinks, she does not have a pleasant voice, and she does walk gracefully as a goddess would. The speaker seems to be viewing his mistress disdainfully, as if he is not attracted to her, and after reading the first twelve lines, a sense of indignation and perhaps sorrow for this woman who is so ugly that not even her lover describes her as being pretty is felt (141). The images serve to make the sonnet come to life because the readers can “see” the comparisons through the use of descriptive words.In Shakespeare's Sonnet 30, he uses a wide variety of poetic devices to help communicate the theme of the poem. The major theme that I feel the author is trying to convey is one of remembrance, mourning for a lost loved one. One of the more obvious devices used is the Metrical Pattern of the Iambic Pentameter. This is a major staple of the Shakespeare Sonnet, and commonly found in nearly every sonnet that he has written. In this essay we will focus on only two major devices that were used, and how they tie into the overall theme of the poem. The first apparatus that will be discussed is the use of imagery to show the thoughts that are going through the mind of the subject. The other major device that will be discussed is the use of alliteration at the start of the poem to set the mood of the character.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets Sonnet 87 - “Farewell

The focus of “Sonnet 30” is the memory of past events. It is subdivided into three quatrains as follows: the first quatrain has memory trained on old goals; in the second, on old, dead friends; in the third, on old grievances. Let us then proceed quatrain by quatrain. In the first two lines remembrances of things past are established within a metaphor of a court (“sessions”).

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Sonnet 30 can be contrasted with the restrained expression of love in Murdoch's 'The Sandcastle' through Mor's actions at the train station, yearning to see his beloved Miss Carter. This is established through the third person perspective of the omniscient narrator, stating Mor's journey of wanting to see her as 'Mor stood there, arrested by some obscure feelings of pleasure.' This is similar to Spenser's ideas of love, as his views are 'obscured' by the unacceptance of his beloved and this defying scientific convention. However, whereas Spenser is definite in his conviction of love Murdoch presents uncertainty through the thoughts of Mor, as with 'devastating certainty' he realised that 'He was in love with Miss Carter.' Similarly, as the ending of Sonnet 30 was a revelation of Spenser's thoughts that the 'power of love can alter all the course of kind', readers of this scene in The Sandcastle are exposed to the uncontrollable volocity of Mor's emotions. This is illustrated in the anatomical descriptions of Mor through the narrative with the 'straining of his lungs and the aching of his muscles.' Therefore, it can be concluded that this expression of love is much more implicit in comparison to Sonnet 30, due to the first person perspective.

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The extended sequence of which “Sonnet 30” was a part conveys a strong theme of friendship. Many of the sonnets were written to a young male friend whom Shakespeare loved dearly (and platonically), often commenting on his beauty, urging him to marry a nice woman and have children. “Sonnet 30,” though too abstract to find any specific mention of this common character in the sequence, is most likely written as a direct address to a friend.