102. Essay


1. For those who enjoy pulling apart other texts:
Analyze one of the sonnets from the handout that has not been covered in lecture or tutorial. Your analysis must attend to the way the structure of the poem (metre/rhyme scheme/ alliteration/ assonance/ consonance/ punctuation etc) works in concert with the theme of the sonnet, or provides a tension with the theme of the sonnet. You may also choose to take up issues of figurative language and imagery, but the focus of your essay should be on the form of the sonnet.
You will need to hand in the following:
a) Your essay (which should have a proper title)
b) A copy of the sonnet plotted on the iambic grid with all deviations circled (5%)
c) A Work Cited in MLA format
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
Scansion – meter (hear & feel of poem) (iamb/troche/anapest/dactyl/spodee)
length of lines – extra syllables repeated words Signified/signifier
shape of the words & sounds
Thesis – should make clear argument- NOT state the obvious
Use this formula – in text A author B uses X to achieve Y
Poetry Definitions: Traditional Constraints
Five kinds of metre:
Iamb/iambic u/ deCAY da DUM
Trochee/trochaic /u PURple DUM da
Anapest/anapestic uu/ interRUPT da da DUM
Dactyl/dactylic /uu LAbouring DUM dad a
Spondee/spondaic // CHILDBIRTH DUM DUM
Monometer: one metrical foot Hexameter: six metrical feet
Dimeter: two metrical feet Heptameter: seven metrical feet
Trimeter: three metrical feet Octameter: eight metrical feet
Tetrameter: four metrical feet Nonameter: nine metrical feet
Pentameter: five metrical feet Decameter: ten metrical feet
Content Words (if a single syllable then stressed): nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs
Function Words (if a single syllable then unstressed): prepositions, articles, demonstratives, conjunctions, pronouns, auxiliary verbs
Blank verse: unrhymed iambic metre
Strophic: organized into stanzas
Stichic: all one chunk (not divided into stanzas)
End stopped: a line of poetry which ends with punctuation e.g.
Enjambment: a line of poetry which does not end at the end of the line but ‘pushes’ itself into the next line
Caesura: a punctuated pause in a line of poetry not found at the end of the line e.g.
This is not an end stopped
Line; it is enjambed and
Full. Of. Pauses.
Consonance: the repetition of initial and ending consonants with different vowel sounds e.g. live/love; spilled/spoiled
Assonance: the repetition of identical vowel sounds that are surrounded by different consonants e.g. shame/fate; lean/beet
Alliteration: the repetition of the same initial consonant e.g. milk maid
Sonnets: Italian: octave (8 lines) and sestet (6 lines) with a volta (turn) indicating the shift from problem to resolution; rhyme scheme is ABBAABBACDECDE
Shakespearean: 3 quatrains (a quatrain is four lines) followed by a couplet (2 lines) with a volta (turn) indicating the shift from problem to resolution; rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG

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