February 12th, 2015
The Idiosyncrasies of Love
A Poetry Explication of Edmund Spenser’s “Sonnet 26”
Astutelystated and in its own respect, one of the many truths to be discovered within poetry, author Clive Staples Lewis’ assertion brings light to “those poems that any man can walk into and make his own.” It is so that the breathtakinglycrafted sonnet of Renaissance poet Edmund Spenser, “Sonnet 26”, roots itself into the heart of its audience, developing an enduring connection between the reader and the words. For such justifications, readers are capable of “walking into” his poem so effortlessly, as its themes and central ideas present universallyregarded issues that torment the soul. Through the eloquent journey of words composed by Spenser, it would be most sinful on the readers’ behalf not to experience an astonishing connection between the burdens of the 21st century individual and the 16th century literary genius; not even time can segregate man’s state of mind. Precisely, “Sonnet 26” addresses the issue of romantic troubles that has persisted: crises, love, and their complications. Nonetheless, strongly emphasized at the end is Spenser’s resolute message (and precious moral lesson) on the importance of enduring love’s agonies and hardships, as its pleasures are endless.
Though known to the vast majority simply as “Sonnet 26”, Edmund Spenser’s sonnet reveals far more than one could anticipate from its title. Whilst in observation of its first line,
“sweet is the rose, but grows upon a briar”, it would be simplest to identify Spenser’s use of an antithesis to describe the contradictory relationship of an elegant flower and its harmful thorns. In other words, in spite of the rose’s beauty, it cannot exist without the bitter, unattractive briar it must live upon. The whole sonnet is structured upon repetition and antitheses that serve to ...
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