Analysis of Edmund Spenser’s Sonnet 75
This poem is one of the eighty-nine sonnets that Edmund Spenser wrote about his courtship and marriage with Elizabeth Boyle. By reading through some of them we can get a clear picture of what was their relationship like and how Spenser could put into verse his deep emotions that he cherished towards his wife. In this essay I will analyse this sonnet by examinig and interpreting its formal and contextual structure. First of all, I will analyse the formal structure of the poem by studying the rhyme scheme and the rhythm of the sonnet . Then I will talk about the literary context in which this sonnet appears. In the final part of the essay I will analyse the poem itself very detailed by interpreting the lines and the main message of the sonnet.
To begin, I would like to give a formal analysis of Sonnet 75, which - as being a Spenserian sonnet - has a different formal structure in comparison to other types of sonnets for instance, Petrarchan or Shakespearean. Edmund Spenser introduced the interlocking rhyme scheme with the help of which the stanzas of the sonnet are linked making it easier to read and understand the poem. The rhyme scheme of Sonnet 75 is ABAB BCBC CDCD EE in which the interlocking property appeares between the quatrains, such as in But came the tide, and made my pains his prey. Vain man, said she, that doest in vain assay (4-5). The sonnet is made up of three quatrains and an ending rhyming couplet. It was written in iambic pentameter meaning that every line of the poem consists of five iambic feet, which are the small groups of syllables in which the rhythm of the sonnet is measured.
After this formal analysis I would like to discuss the sonnet cycle to which Spenser’s Sonnet 75 belongs. This sonnet cycle is called Amoretti which is a sequence of Spenser’s sonnets about love and his relationship with her second wife, called Elizabeth Boyle, probably written between 1592 and 1594. The title Amoretti...
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