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British Literature Notes Week 2

by: Hannah Fretheim

British Literature Notes Week 2 ENG 2301

Marketplace > Baylor University > ENG 2301 > British Literature Notes Week 2
Hannah Fretheim
Baylor University
GPA 3.8

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Shakespeare and the Sonnets
British Literature
Rachel Lee Webster
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Fretheim on Sunday September 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENG 2301 at Baylor University taught by Rachel Lee Webster in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views.


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Date Created: 09/04/16
th st British Literature Notes (August 29 and 31 ) Sonnets and Intro to Shakespeare More on “The Passionate Shepard to his Love” and “The Nymph’s Reply” - The rhythm and lyrics of the two poems parallel each other. - Walter Raleigh purposefully used patterns from Marlowe’s poem, but sometimes changed the style a bit. th o i.e. In the 4 stanza he uses the same meter as Marlowe’s poem but gives it a more staccato feel to show that the Nymph was being harsh with the Shepherd. - Raleigh is almost engaging in a “competition” of sorts with Marlowe. He is showing Marlowe that he can take his language and do something better with it. Poets used seasons to symbolize seasons of life: - Spring= youth and love - Summer= middle of life - Fall= old age - Winter= death Sonnets (see handout for definitions) - Usually directed to an object of love - There were Italian (Petrarchan) Sonnets, English (Shakespearean) Sonnets and Spenserian Sonnets Petrarchan Sonnets: - These Sonnets often presented love as both beautiful and painful (conceit). Unrequited love was a common subject. - Petrarch is said to have written many of his Sonnets for someone named “Laura” although it is possible he never actually talked to her. - These Sonnets always followed the rules by being 14 lines. Spenserian Sonnets: - Spenser purposefully used archaic language to show what he could do with it. - He also used multiple spellings for words since there were not conventional spellings in the Renaissance. - He sometimes used themes from Petrarchan Sonnets (such as the conceit) but changed them up. Sonnet 75 - The narrator is trying to immortalize his love by writing her name in the sand, but it is continuously washed away. She is the voice of reason and tells him it is foolish to try to immortalize her using mortal things. He says that her name will live on. - The poem is a self-fulfilling prophecy because her name lives on through this poem. - Waves of the beach moving back and forth symbolize life, death and new life. - This sonnet differs from the Italian sonnets because the narrator has his love and the woman is actually part of the dialogue. Sonnet 79 - The narrator is telling his love that her true beauty is found in her mind because while outer beauty fades, intelligence lives on. - Spencer uses the word “fair” in three different ways (to mean beautiful, equal and production). Shakespeare: - Why study Shakespeare? o He was the first to use phrases which we still use today o He used the language in creative and new ways - Who did Shakespeare write to? o He wrote many poems to a man known as “the fair youth” o Some were written to a rival poet o He also mentions writing to a “dark lady” - He worked as an actor and a playwright but was not wealthy or particularly famous during his lifetime. - Many of his plays were not published until after he was dead. Sonnet 18 - He plays with conventions used by sonnet writers and sort of “pokes fun” at them. o “Summer’s day” was commonly used to represent love and prime of life, but he points out that he prefers his love because she is more temperate than summer. - He tells his love that she is better than all these conventions. o Particularly he points out that her love lasts longer Sonnet 73 - Here, Shakespeare uses the season analogies. o Fall turning into winter means he is old and moving towards death. - He also uses the metaphors of a fading sunset and a dying fire to symbolize his imminent death. - At the end of the poem, he tells the younger person he is speaking to that their love is growing stronger through watching him grown old. Sonnet 130 - While it may at first seem that Shakespeare is mocking a woman, he is actually mocking the conventions used by poets to talk about love. - He points out that saying a woman has “eyes like the sun” and “lips as red as coral” is actually a very unrealistic way to describe her. - He points out that his love is just as real and true even without the unrealistic metaphors. Sonnet 138 - This poem was written to the “dark lady” - The love in this poem has become much more negative and dysfunctional. The speaker’s lover is cheating on him and he knows, yet both of them continue to lie about it. They remain in the relationship despite its flaws. - The word “lie” used at the end has a double meaning (they are lying together in a bad and both lying to each other)


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