Two page essay on sonnet 29

The combination of ancient and contemporary strengthens the political elements in the poem. It demonstrates tyranny in its most intimate form, committing a private outrage that is inescapably public; hence the rape is figured in terms both domestic (as a burglary) and public (as a hunt, a war, a siege). It also reveals the essential violence of many conventional erotic metaphors. Shakespeare draws on the powerful Elizabethan myth of the island nation as a woman: although Tarquin is a Roman, an insider, his journey from the siege of Ardea to Lucrece’s chamber connects the two assaults. His attack figures a society at war with itself, and he himself is shown to be self-divided.” Tyranny, lust, and greed translate the metaphors of Petrarchism into the actuality of rape, which is figured by gradatio , or climax: “What could he see but mightily he noted? / What did he note but strongly he desired?”

According to Jonathan Bate, Shakespeare relied heavily on these sections of Ovid's Metamorphoses while composing Sonnet 60, and these passages from Ovid roughly correspond to the three quatrains of the sonnet. Shakespeare would have looked back to ancient sources like many Renaissance writers of his time. In the book Shakespeare and Ovid , Johnathan Bate states that persons of the Renaissance period "believed passionately that the present could learn from the past" and that this belief "was the starting-point of education and a formative influence on the writing of the period". [28] There was a strong belief in Shakespeare's day that, though times change—changes which are the result of the passing pf time—the essentials of human nature, "the foundations of the affections of the human mind," did not change. [29] To look into the past, therefore, meant also for Shakespeare to look more deeply into the meaning of the present. [30] By looking back to Book XV of Ovid's Metamorphoses, Shakespeare also gives a modern view (one that includes minutes) of an ancient view of time, one that provides a contrast to the more mechanized time of the 1590s. Time, in Ovid's work and in the first three quatrains of Sonnet 60, is intertwined with the processes of nature, looking back to a time before time and nature were fractured. Just as the poem struggles with time, so Shakespeare's modernized use of Ovid struggles to reconcile the past view of time and the present view of time, the world as it was, and the world as it is.

The second quatrain, which is closely linked to the first through the abba rhyme scheme, turns the criticism of Death as less than fearful into praise for Death’s good qualities. From Death comes “Much pleasure” (line 5) since those good souls whom Death releases from earthly suffering experience “Rest of their bones” (line 6). Donne then returns to criticizing Death for thinking too highly of itself: Death is no sovereign, but a “slave to Fate, chance, kings, and desperate men” (line 9); this last demonstrates that there is no hierarchy in which Death is near the top. Although a desperate man can choose Death as an escape from earthly suffering, even the rest which Death offers can be achieved better by “poppy, or charms” (line 11), so even there Death has no superiority.

Two page essay on sonnet 29

two page essay on sonnet 29

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