Sonnet 75

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An analysis of the Edmund Spenser's Sonnet 75

Edmund Spenser is one of the most widely known Elizabethan poets. He often put himself in the center of his poems, expressing very personal thoughts, emotions, and convictions. Such poetry, known as 'lyric,' became popular during Spenser's time where poems were more focused on the individual. In his poem known as Sonnet 75, Spenser proclaims his love to his woman with the use of symbols, her name and heaven, external conflicts, and alliteration. In Spenser's sonnet, he and his lover are walking along the shore of a beach where he attempts to proclaim his deep love for her by writing her name in the sand. He wants the name to be permanent to prove to her that he will forever love her, but unfortunately, the waves of the shore keep coming and washing the name away. He tries writing her name a second time, but the handwritten name again suffers the same fate and another wave comes and erases it away. Spenser includes a dialogue in his poem as the woman confronts him on what she calls a vain act, pointing out that he cannot immortalize a mortal thing like love. She continues to tell him that even if he could, she is a mortal human being and will eventually die. The poet then responds to her statements confidently, claiming that he can immortalize her virtues and his love for her in his poetry, and that when they die on earth, their love will still live and that he will write her name in the heavens where it will stay forever and they shall start a new life there together. The main symbol of this sonnet is the name the poet wrote in the sand of shore. This written name symbolizes his love for the woman he's with, and it's the initial reason this sonnet was written. Lines two and four, where Spenser produces the images of the beach waves crashing on the coast and erasing the name, represent the first conflict in the poem. The poet has a conflict with the waves since he wants the name he has written in the sand...
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