Sonnet Essay, Research Paper

The sonnets, 130 and 292, written by William Shakespeare and Francesco Petrarch, both shows their passionate love towards their woman and it is very interesting to compare and contrast the two. Although their passionate mind was similar, they differ in form, tone, and meaning.

First of all, the form differs. The ??Sonnet 130?? is written in Shakespearean (English) format, which has the rhyme scheme of a-b-a-b-c-d-c-d-e-f-e-f-g-g. It has three quatrains, four-line stanzas, and ends with a couplet, a two-line stanza. Unlike ??Sonnet 130,?? ??Sonnet 292?? follows the Italian (Petrarchan) form. This has a different rhyme scheme that goes a-b-b-a-a-b-b-a-c-d-d-e-e, and it has an octave, the first eight lines which tells the story, and the sestet, the last six lines which the speaker comments on the situation. Although they differ in style, they both follow the iambic pentameter.

Secondly, the two sonnets differ in tone. ??Sonnet 292,?? like many other sonnets, it idealizes the woman by using words such as ??the waving hair of unmixed gold that shone, the smile that flashed with the angelic rays that used to make this earth a paradise??.?? (Lines 5-8) These words give the sonnet a very beautiful and heavenly tone. In contrast, William Shakespeare ridicules the physical appearance of his mistress by using words such as ??if hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head, I have seen roses damask??d, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks??.?? (Lines 4-7) Although these words doesn??t give a beautiful and heavenly tone, it sets the sonnet up for the meaning.

The two sonnets differ in meaning greatly. The ??Sonnet 130,?? later gives out the meaning when the author says ??I love to hear her speak?? (line 9). He is stating that he loves her uniqueness, and for whom she is, not for her physical appearance. The author also gives a little moral lesson to the readers that people shouldn??t love based on looks but for what they really are. In contrast, in ??Sonnet 292,?? the author grieves for the loss of his love. His sorrow feelings are well shown in the lines ??the vein of my accustomed art is dry, and this, my lyre, turned at last to tears.?? (Lines 13-14) He is saying that his art was motivated by the woman he loved but his desire and passion for art has run out due to the loss.

It is clearly shown that the two sonnets differ greatly in form, tone, and meaning. I believe that this is due to the different time and society the authors lived in. But these two sonnets show that no matter the time and society, one??s love towards another has always been passionate through out history.

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