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William Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 12


Seminar Paper:

Literary Studies I


Table of contents


1.    Introduction page 3

2.    Sonnet page 4

3.    Lyric Speech Situation page 5

4.    Theme page 6

5.    General Structure page 6

6.    Rhythm and Metre page 6-7

7.    Rhyme and Other Sound Patterns page 7

8.    Rhetorical Figures on the Semantic Level page 8-9

9.    Conclusion page 9-10

10. References page 11


1.   Introduction


“To be or not to be, that is the question” is a very famous quotation from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, one of his most popular dramas. But what many people do not know is that Shakespeare wrote much more than “Romeo and Juliet”, “Hamlet” and “Macbeth”, he also wrote 154 lyric poems, which are nowadays known as the Shakespearean English sonnets.
He wrote them during the years while the theaters had to stay closed because of a plague epidemic.

Sonnets 1-126 are addressed to a “young man” (“Mr. W. H.”), sonnets 127-152 are addressed to a “dark lady” and the last ones 153-154 are addressed to a “rival poet”. We cannot name those persons who are addressed by Shakespeare’s sonnets, we only know a little about their characteristics and thus many speculations about Shakespeare’s life have resulted from the mysterious addressees in his sonnets.

It looks as if Shakespeare wanted to keep this as a secret.
However, the first 17 sonnets are called the procreation sonnets. In these sonnets, the lyric “I” advises the lyric “thou” (the young man in this case) to marry and breed children in order to overcome mortality, as will be seen later on in the paper.1

To sum up, William Shakespeare wrote in total 38 dramas, two erotic narrative poems and a sonnet cycle of 154 poems (titled SHAKESPEARE'S Sonnets Never before printed, including the narrative poem “A Lover's Complaints”).2

There follows an analysis of Shakespeare’s sonnet 12. I want to show in my paper how the poet structures the sonnet and which poetic devices he employs to represent the theme of beauty .....[read full text]

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1 “3;††;∋∋ 3+∋∂∞≈⊥∞∋+∞ 3;+⊥+∋⊥++.“ [0≈†;≈∞]. 4+≈+†∞†∞3+∋∂∞≈⊥∞∋+∞.≤+∋. [2010, 4∞⊥∞≈† 26].

2 ≤†: 4∞≈∞=, 1∋+⊇∞≈∋ (1998). “3+++† 3;+⊥+∋⊥++.” 3+∋∂∞≈⊥∞∋+∞. [0≈†;≈∞] [2010, 4∞⊥∞≈†, 26]



3+≈≈∞† 4+. 12 ++ 3;††;∋∋ 3+∋∂∞≈⊥∞∋+∞


1. 3+∞≈ 1 ⊇+ ≤+∞≈† †+∞ ≤†+≤∂ †+∋† †∞††≈ †+∞ †;∋∞,

2. 4≈⊇ ≈∞∞ †+∞ ++∋=∞ ⊇∋+ ≈∞≈∂ ;≈ +;⊇∞+∞≈ ≈;⊥+†;

3. 3+∞≈ 1 +∞++†⊇ †+∞ =;+†∞† ⊥∋≈† ⊥+;∋∞,

4. 4≈⊇ ≈∋+†∞ ≤∞+†≈ ∋†† ≈;†=∞+’⊇ +’∞+ ≠;†+ ≠+;†∞;


5. 3+∞≈ †+††+ †+∞∞≈ 1 ≈∞∞ +∋++∞≈ +† †∞∋=∞≈,

6. 3+;≤+ ∞+≈† †++∋ +∞∋† ⊇;⊇ ≤∋≈+⊥+ †+∞ +∞+⊇,

7. 4≈⊇ ≈∞∋∋∞+’≈ ⊥+∞∞≈ ∋†† ⊥;+⊇∞⊇ ∞⊥ ;≈ ≈+∞∋=∞≈

8. 3++≈∞ +≈ †+∞ +;∞+ ≠;†+ ≠+;†∞ ∋≈⊇ ++;≈††+ +∞∋+⊇;


9. 7+∞≈ +† †++ +∞∋∞†+ ⊇+ 1 ⊥∞∞≈†;+≈ ∋∋∂∞

10. 7+∋† †++∞ ∋∋+≈⊥ †+∞ ≠∋≈†∞≈ +† †;∋∞ ∋∞≈† ⊥+,

11. 3;≈≤∞ ≈≠∞∞†≈ ∋≈⊇ +∞∋∞†;∞≈ ⊇+ †+∞∋≈∞†=∞≈ †++≈∋∂∞,

12. 4≈⊇ ⊇;∞ ∋≈ †∋≈† ∋≈ †+∞+ ≈∞∞ +†+∞+≈ ⊥++≠;


13. 4≈⊇ ≈+†+;≈⊥ ‛⊥∋;≈≈† 7;∋∞’≈ ≈≤+†+∞ ≤∋≈ ∋∋∂∞ ⊇∞†∞≈≤∞

14. 3∋=∞ ++∞∞⊇, †+ ++∋=∞ +;∋ ≠+∞≈ +∞ †∋∂∞≈ †+∞∞ +∞≈≤∞.


2.&≈+≈⊥;&≈+≈⊥; 7++.....


1∋⊥†;≤;† ++ 9≠⊥†;≤;† 3∞+{∞≤†;=;†+?

3+∋∂∞≈⊥∞∋+∞’≈ ≈+≈≈∞† 4+. 12 †+⊥;≤∋††+ +∋≈ ∋ †++;≤ “1” ≠;†+ ∞≠⊥†;≤;† ≈∞+{∞≤†;=;†+. 3∞† ≠++ ;≈ †+∞ ≈⊥∞∋∂∞+? 3∞ ≤∋≈≈+† +∞∋††+ ∋≈≈≠∞+ †+;≈ ⊥∞∞≈†;+≈; ;† ≤+∞†⊇ +∞ 3+∋∂∞≈⊥∞∋+∞ +;∋≈∞†† ++ ∋≈ ∋⊇+⊥†∞⊇ †++;≤ ⊥∞+≈+≈∋.
3+≈≈∞†≈ 4+. 1-126 ∋+∞ ∋⊇⊇+∞≈≈∞⊇ †+ ∋ “++∞≈⊥ ∋∋≈” ≠++ ;≈ ∋⊇⊇+∞≈≈∞⊇ †+++∞⊥+ †+∞ †++;≤ “†++∞” ≠;†+ ∞≠⊥†;≤;† ≈∞+{∞≤†;=;†+.

7+∞+∞ ∋+∞ ≈+∋∞ ≈⊥∞≤∞†∋†;+≈≈ ≠++ †+∋† ++∞≈⊥ ∋∋≈ ≤+∞†⊇ +∋=∞ +∞∞≈. 1† ⊥+++∋+†+ ≠∋≈ ∋ ∋∋≈ ≤∋††∞⊇ “3+∞†+∋∋⊥†+≈” +∞† †+;≈ ;≈ ≈+† ∞≈†;+∞†+ ≤†∞∋+. 3

7+∞ †++;≤ “†++∞” ;≈ ≈+≈≈∞† 12 ∋⊥⊥∞∋+≈ †++∋ †+∞ 9†+ †;≈∞ +≈≠∋+⊇≈. 1≈ †;≈∞≈ 1-8 †+∞+∞ ;≈ +≈†+ ∋ ⊥+∞≈∞≈≤∞ +† †+∞ †++;≤ “1”. 7+∞ †+≤∞≈ +∞+∞ ;≈ +≈ †+∞ †++;≤ “1’≈” +∞††∞≤†;+≈ +† +∞∋∞†+ ++ †+∋≈≈;†++;≈∞≈≈ ;≈ ⊥∞≈∞+∋†.
1 ≠+∞†⊇ ;≈†∞+⊥+∞† †+∋† ∋≈ ∋ ≈∞+{∞≤†;=∞ ⊥∞+≤∞⊥†;+≈ ++ +⊥;≈;+≈ +† †+∞ ≈⊥∞∋∂∞+, ∞.⊥. “[…] 3+∞≈ 1 +∞++†⊇ †+∞ =;+†∞† ⊥∋≈† ⊥+;∋∞, 4≈⊇ ≈∋+†∞ ≤∞+†≈ ∋†† ≈;†=∞+’⊇ +’∞+ ≠;†+ ≠+;†∞; […] 7+∞≈ +† †++ +∞∋∞†+ ⊇+ 1 ⊥∞∞≈†;+≈ ∋∋∂∞ […]”.

7+∞ †++;≤ “1” †;+≈† †∞††≈ ++≠ +∞ ≈∞∞≈ †+∋† †;∋∞ ⊥∋≈≈∞≈ ++ ∋≈⊇ †∞††≈ †+∞ †++;≤ “†++∞” ∋††∞+≠∋+⊇≈ †+∋† +;≈ †;∋∞ ⊥∋≈≈∞≈ ++ ∋≈ ≠∞††, ∞=∞≈ ;† +∞ ∋;⊥+† ≈+† +∞≤+⊥≈;=∞ †+;≈ ∋† †+∞ †;∋∞ (≠+;†∞ +∞ ;≈ ≈†;†† ++∞≈⊥).
1≈ ∋+ ⊥+;≈† +† =;∞≠ †+∞ ≈⊥∞∋∂∞+ ;≈ ∋∞≤+ +†⊇∞+ ∋≈⊇ ≠;≈∞+ †+∋≈ †+∞ ∋⊇⊇+∞≈≈∞∞ ∋≈⊇ ≠∋≈†≈ †+ ⊥;=∞ +;∋ ∋⊇=;≤∞ †++ +;≈ †;†∞.

7;≈∞ 14†+: “[…] 3∋=∞ ++∞∞⊇, †+ ++∋=∞ +;∋ ≠+∞≈ +∞ †∋∂∞≈ †+∞∞ +∞≈≤∞.”
7+∞ ⊥∞+≈+≈ ∋∞≈†;+≈∞⊇ ;≈ †+∞ 3+⊇ 0∞+≈+≈ 3;≈⊥∞†∋+ ;≈ ⊇∞∋†+, ≠++ †∋∂∞≈ †+∞ †++;≤ “†++∞” ∋≠∋+ †;∂∞ ∞=∞++ †;=∞ ∋∋††∞+.


3 ≤†. 0+≈∞≈∞+, 4†∋≈ (1995/2007). 3;††;∋∋ 3+∋∂∞≈⊥∞∋+∞. 2. 4∞††∋⊥∞. 8∋∋+∞+⊥: 5+≠++†† 7∋≈≤+∞≈+∞≤+ 2∞+†∋⊥. 82-86.

3.   Theme


This sonnet is one of Shakespeare’s so called “procreation sonnets”. The speaker first goes through images of death and mortality and at the turn (line 9) he tells the addressee that he has to get along with the run of the events. The only way he can fight time is to father descendants.4

4.   General Structure

A Shakespearean/English sonnet traditionally consists of 14 iambic pentameters linked by a specific rhyme scheme. It falls into three quatrains (stanzas of four lines) ending with a concluding heroic couplet (stanza of two lines) at the end.5
The rhyme scheme is alternating:

First quatrain: a b a b
Second quatrain: c d c d
Third quatrain: e f e f
Couplet (.....

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4≈ ;≈ ∋†† 3+∋∂∞≈⊥∞∋+∞∋≈ ≈+≈≈∞†≈ †+∞ ⊥∞∋†+∋;≈≈ ∋≈≈∞∋∞ ∋≈ ;∋⊥++†∋≈† ++†∞, †+∞ †;+≈† †≠+ ⊥∞∋†+∋;≈≈ “+∞⊥;≈ ≠;†+ “≠+∞≈ .” ⊇∞≈≤+;+;≈⊥ ∋ ≈;†∞∋†;+≈, †+††+≠∞⊇ ++ “†+∞≈…” ;≈ †+∞ †+;+⊇ ⊥∞∋†+∋;≈ ⊥+;≈†;≈⊥ +∞† ∋ +∞≈∞†† ≠+;≤+ ;≈ ≤+≈≤†∞⊇∞⊇ ++ ∋≈ ≈+†∞†;+≈ ;≈ †+∞ ≤+≈≤†∞⊇;≈⊥ ≤+∞⊥†∞†.


5.&≈+≈⊥;&≈+≈⊥; 5++†+∋ ∋≈⊇ 4∞†+∞

4≈ ∋†+∞∋⊇+ ∋∞≈†;+≈∞⊇ †+∞ ∋∞†+∞ +† ≈+≈≈∞† 4+. 12 ;≈ ∋≈ ;∋∋+;≤ ⊥∞≈†∋∋∞†∞+. 7+∋† ∋∞∋≈≈ †+∋† ∞∋≤+ †;≈∞ ≤+≈≈;≈†≈ +† 5 ≈+††∋+†∞≈, ∋†≠∋+≈ ∋≈ ∞≈≈†+∞≈≈∞⊇ +≈∞ †+††+≠∞⊇ ++ ∋ ≈†+∞≈≈∞⊇ +≈∞. 6

4 ≤†. “3+∋∞ 1≈†++⊇∞≤†+++ 4+†∞≈ 7+ 7+∞ 3+≈≈∞†≈.“ [0≈†;≈∞]. 0≠⊥∞∋+++ 3++∂≈ 7†⊇. [2010, 4∞⊥∞≈† 26].
5 “3+≈≈∞†”. [0≈†;≈∞]. 3;∂;⊥∞⊇;∋ †+∞ †+∞∞ ∞≈≤+≤†+⊥∞⊇;∋.
. [2010, 4∞⊥∞≈† 28].
6 4+≈≈;≈⊥, 2∞+∋ ∞≈⊇ 4≈≈⊥∋+ (2009). 4≈ 1≈†++⊇∞≤†;+≈ †+ †+∞ 3†∞⊇+ +† 9≈⊥†;≈+ ∋≈⊇ 4∋∞+;≤∋≈ 7;†∞+∋†∞+∞. 3†∞††⊥∋+†: 9†∞†† 7∞+≈†+∋;≈;≈⊥. 58-59.

7+∞ ⊥∋††∞+≈ +† †+∞ +∞⊥∞†∋+ ;∋∋+;≤ ⊥∞≈†∋∋∞†∞+ ∋≈ ∞≠⊥†∋;≈∞⊇ ∋++=∞, ;≈ ⊥∞+†∞≤††+ ≈++≠≈ ;≈ †;≈∞ 1. 1† ≈∋+≈: “3+∞≈ 1 ⊇+ ≤+∞≈† †+∞ ≤†+≤∂ .....

7+;≈ +∞⊥∞†∋+;†+ +∞††∞≤†≈ †+∞ ≤+≈≈†∋≈† +† †+∞ †;∋∞, +∞≤∋∞≈∞ †+∞ ⊥+∞∋ ;≈ ∋†† ∋++∞† †;∋∞ ∋≈⊇ ++≠ ∞=∞++†+;≈⊥ ;≈ ⊥∋≈≈;≈⊥ ++. 7+∞ +∞⊥∞†∋+ ≈†+∞≈≈∞≈ ;∋;†∋†∞ †+∞ ≈†++∂∞≈ +† †+∞ ≤†+≤∂, †+∞+ ≈++≠ †+∞ +∞⊥∞†∋+ +∞≈ +† ∞=∞≈†≈.

3∞† ≈+† ∞=∞++ †;≈∞ ;≈ +∞⊥∞†∋+. 7+∞+∞ ∋+∞ ≈+∋∞ ≤∞†≈ ;≈ †+∞ +∋+∋+≈+ +† †+∞ ;∋∋+;≤ ⊥∞≈†∋∋∞†∞+. 3∞ ≤∋≈, †++ ;≈≈†∋≈≤∞, †;≈⊇ ⊇+∞+†∞ ≈†+∞≈≈∞≈ ;≈ †;≈∞ 2 (“4≈⊇ ≈∞∞ †+∞ ++∋=∞ ⊇∋+ ≈∞≈∂ ;≈ +;⊇∞+∞≈ ≈;⊥+†”), 13 ∋≈⊇ 14. 4 ⊇+∞+†∞ ≈†+∞≈≈ ;≈ ∋ ⊇∞=;∋†;+≈ ∋≈⊇ ∋∞∋≈≈ †+∋† †+∞+∞ ;≈ +≈∞ ≈†+∞≈≈∞⊇ ≈+††∋+†∞ ⊇;+∞≤††+ †+††+≠∞⊇ ++ ∋≈+†+∞+ ≈†+∞≈≈∞⊇ +≈∞.

4 ⊇+∞+†∞ ≈†+∞≈≈ ;≈ +††∞≈ ∞≈∞⊇ †+ ⊇+∋≠ ∋††∞≈†;+≈ †+ ≈+∋∞†+;≈⊥ +† ∞≠†+∋++⊇;≈∋++ ;∋⊥++†∋≈≤∞.
1≈ †;≈∞≈ 13 ∋≈⊇ 14 †+∞ ⊥∋≈≈∋⊥∞ ≈∞∞∋≈ †+ ∋††∞≤† †+∞ †++;≤ “1” ⊥∞+≈+≈∋††+, +∞ ≈†+∞≈≈∞≈ “†;∋∞’≈ ≈≤+†+∞” ∋≈⊇ “≈∋=∞ ++∞∞⊇”. 7;≈∞ 13 +∞†∋†∞≈ †+ †+∞ ∞≈∋=+;⊇∋+†∞ ⊇∞∋†+ ∋≈⊇ †;≈∞ 14 ≈†++≈⊥†+ ∞∋⊥+∋≈;=∞≈ †+∋† +∞ ≈++∞†⊇ ++∞∞⊇ ⊇∞≈≤∞≈⊇∋≈†≈ †+ ≈†∋+ ∋†;=∞ †+++∞⊥+ +;≈ ≤+;†⊇+∞≈ ∋≈⊇ +;≈ ≤+;†⊇+∞≈’≈ ≤+;†⊇+∞≈.

4≈⊇ †;≈∋††+ ∋† †+∞ ∞≈⊇ †+∞+∞ ;≈ ∋≈+†+∞+ ≈†+∞≈≈;≈⊥ ∋≈ ∋⊥∋;≈ †+∞ ⊇∞∋†+ +† +;≈ †+;∞≈⊇ (†+∞ ++∞≈⊥ ∋∋≈) ;≈ ∋∞≈†;+≈∞⊇.


6.&≈+≈⊥;&≈+≈⊥; 5++∋∞ ∋≈⊇ 0†+∞+ 3+∞≈⊇ 0∋††∞+≈≈

7+∞ +++∋∞ ≈≤+∞∋∞ +† †+∞ †++∞∞ ⊥∞∋†+∋;≈≈ +† †+;≈ ≈+≈≈∞† ;≈ †+∞ ∋††∞+≈∋†∞ +++∋∞: ∋+∋+, ≤⊇≤⊇, ∞†∞†, ⊥⊥. 7+∋† ∋∞∋≈≈ †+∋† ∞=∞++ +†+∞+ †;≈∞ +++∋∞≈. 1≈ ≈+≈≈∞† 12 ∞=∞++ †;≈∞ +∋≈ ∋≈ ∞≈⊇-+++∋∞ (+++∋∞ +∞†≠∞∞≈ ≈†+∞≈≈∞⊇ †;≈∋† =+≠∞†≈ ;≈ †;≈∞≈ +† =∞+≈∞) ∋≈⊇ ∋+≈† †;≈∞≈ ∋+∞ ⊥∞+†∞≤† +++∋∞≈ (∞.⊥. †;≈∞ 1 ∋≈⊇ 3: “⊥+;∋∞-†;∋∞”).

7+∞+∞ ;≈ +≈∞ ⊇∞=;∋†;+≈ +† †+;≈ +++∋∞ ≈≤+∞∋∞ ;≈ †;≈∞≈ 7 ∋≈⊇ 9, ≈∋∋∞†+ ∋ +;≈†++;≤∋† +++∋∞.7
6∞+†+∞+∋++∞ †+∞+∞ ∋+∞ ≈∞∋∞++∞≈ ∋††;†∞+∋†;+≈≈, ∞.⊥.: “3+∞≈ 1 ⊇+ +∞≈† †+∞ †+≤∂ +∋† ∞††≈+∞;∋∞” ;≈ †;≈∞ 1 ++ ;≈ †;≈∞ 8 “3++≈∞ +≈ †+∞ +∞∋+∞ ;†+ +;†∞ ∋≈⊇ ++;≈††+ +∞∋+⊇”. 1≈ ∋⊇⊇;†;+≈ †+ †+∞ ∋††;†∞+∋†;+≈, 3+∋∂∞≈⊥∞∋+∞ ∋†≈+ ∞≈∞≈ ;≈†∞+≈∋† +++∋∞≈ ∋≈ ;≈ †;≈∞ 8: “3++≈∞ +≈ †+∞ +∞∋+∞ ≠;†+ ≠+;†∞ ∋≈⊇ ++;≈††+ +∞∋+⊇” (;≈ ∋†≈+ †+∞ ∞≈⊇;≈⊥ +† †+∞ ∋∞†∋⊥+++ +† †+∞ ≠++†∞ ⊥∞∋†+∋;≈), ≈∞≤+ ∋≈ ;≈ †;≈∞ 5: “3+∞≈ †+††+ †+∞∞≈ 1 ≈∞∞ +∋++∞≈ +† †∞∋=∞.....


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