An Essay On Shakespeare Sonnets Booth

An Essay On Shakespeare Sonnets Booth-25
It would seem, then, that these brief pieces would be relatively easy to comprehend and explain.Nevertheless, those who come to these verses for the first time are likely to be perplexed; even after several readings, the sonnets may prove hard.Whether or not the pronoun "I" is explicitly present in their individual texts, all of the 154 verse pieces that comprise Shakespeare's sonnets are presumably narrated by a single persona.

It would seem, then, that these brief pieces would be relatively easy to comprehend and explain.Nevertheless, those who come to these verses for the first time are likely to be perplexed; even after several readings, the sonnets may prove hard.Whether or not the pronoun "I" is explicitly present in their individual texts, all of the 154 verse pieces that comprise Shakespeare's sonnets are presumably narrated by a single persona.

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While they were first published as Shakespeare's Sonnets in 1609, it is fairly well established that this set of 154 poems was written in its entirety by Shakespeare during an early period in his career, probably over a succession of years between 15.

The Shakespeare who wrote the Sonnets would therefore be a relatively young man in his late twenties or early thirties, having already written and staged a few plays, but turning to verse for the private enjoyment of private patrons as a means of cashing in on the sonnet fad that swept through the Elizabethan court in the 1590s.

Chambers stated, "more folly has been written about the Sonnets than about any other Shakespearean topic," he...

(The entire section is 1,559 words.) Many modern readers are surprised by the difficulty that they encounter in trying to understand Shakespeare's sonnets.

This is not the case with Shakespeare's handling of the sonnet.

One of the most common mistakes made by new readers of his sonnets is the presumption that they are logical vehicles through which Shakespeare presents a cogent expression of certain ideas.

The sonnets are, of course, short poems composed in standard fourteen-line form with a uniform rhyme pattern and in a poetic meter (iambic pentameter) that mirrors conversational English.

Granted, there are some archaic words and phrases embedded in Shakespeare's sonnets, but most editions include explanatory notes that provide definitions and synonyms.

As Booth observes, in Sonnet 124, Shakespeare uses the word "It" five times. (The entire section is 1,393 words.) In all likelihood, Shakespeare wrote the 154 verse pieces that constitute his Sonnets at an early juncture in his career, and after 1598 or so, he abandoned both the sonnet form and the composition of non-dramatic poetry.

Shakespeare's motives in engaging in this genre at a time when he had already written several plays was undoubtedly related to a short-lived fad in the court of Queen Elizabeth.

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