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Thread: Themes in Sonnet 18?

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    Themes in Sonnet 18?

    Love? Timelessness of poetry?

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    Re: Themes in Sonnet 18?

    If you're referring to 28 (18 isn't in the prescribed texts list), then I think possible themes could be:
    - love (idealised love and love as a transformative agent)
    - time (the development of EBB and RB's relationship, EBB's development in character)
    - religion and faith (relating to the author's context of 19th(?) century england, referenced in "god's future thundered on my past")
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    Re: Themes in Sonnet 18?

    Going to assume this is Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 (the infamous "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day"). I studied this for discovery and was very close to using it as my related text. However, Gwen Harwood came knocking on my door.

    You might want to tell me if this is for discovery or Mod C, but I'm going to assume it's for discovery.

    Themes I can recall off the top of my head:
    - Complexities of human emotion (i.e. love and desire) - the narrator is unable to verbalise his love for this woman, but eventually 'discovers' poetry (and the lines that encapsulate the woman's beauty) is/are impervious to time.
    - The shallowness of outward appearance (you're going to have to drag this very far if you want to use it in a discovery essay - don't know why I had this, but I know the poem has a lot of exegeses (double meanings)).
    - Interdependence of love and beauty - in this case, his love is entirely rooted in surface-level values.
    - The transcendent nature of love (more so literature than love in this case) - can extend beyond time.

    I actually had this poem analysed, but I've no access to my English resources. There's a lot of stuff to analyse in this poem (a butt load of techniques). You'll need to link them to themes and discovery itself, but you should be fine. Though one thing to note is that this poem will not get you through 50% of the discovery questions they'll ask because it only ever explores the ramifications/final outcome/final discovery of the narrator's dilemma - if they ask you a question about the process of discovery/significant experiences/provocation, etc, you'll definitely need more than this.

    EDIT: Don't know if you're doing advanced or standard so I can't really give you more specific themes, but there is A LOT of context linked to the entire idea of the sonnet - the Petrarchan sonnet form (aka the male-dominated writing form of Shakespeare's time) and the themes.
    Last edited by tklawl; 18 Jan 2018 at 11:37 PM.
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