Exploring Themes in Sonnets Essay

Exploring Themes in Sonnets Essay

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The six poems that I shall be comparing are: Sonnet 116, My last duchess, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, The highwayman, The laboratory and The ballad of Tam Lin. There is a common theme that runs through all of these poems of relationships and the love in them whether it be the love lost between two lovers such as in the Laboratory or a fantasy love such as in The ballad of Tam Lin.
In La Belle Dame Sans Merci the speaker of the poem comes across a knight all alone and who is apparently dying in a field. He proceeds to ask the poor knight about the awful fate that has befallen him. The knight’s reply takes up the rest of the poem; he says that one day he met a beautiful faery in the fields. He spent the whole day with her making her flower garlands and letting her ride his horse. She invited him back to her fairy cave where he gently kissed her four times and she lulled him to sleep. He had a horrendous nightmare about all of the other knights and kings the woman had previously seduced who were all now dead. He awakens alone and on the hillside.
This ballad is divided into 12 quatrains, each with a rhyming structure (A-B-A-C). The rhythm is an iambic tetrameter meaning each line is made up of four iambs, except for in the fourth line of each quatrain where there are only three iambs.
The main imagery in this ballad is placed in stanzas 10 and 11 during the knight’s nightmare. He talks about the pale kings and princes he saw and goes into slightly dark and gory detail “I saw their starved lips in the gloam” and you really feel as though you can see them too.
Like most ballads this is quite like a song and starts off in quite an upbeat way when the knight is describing the glorious day that he spent with the young faery, but takes qu...


... middle of paper ...


... imagine this poor man being turned into all manner of beasts.
The tone of this ballad is quite dark and somber which is strange for a ballad as they are normally quite lighthearted, but for this one it needs to be dark so you can sense the turmoil Janet felt when trying to win her true love back. It is also filled with passion and the love they feel.
My favourite poem is The Highwayman as it has as it has an extremely dramatic storyline behind it that really draws you in and makes you want to read on. It also tells the story of a forbidden love between the highwayman and Bess which ultimately ends in their demise but the ending gives out the message that even death could not keep them apart in the end which is a really powerful statement he is trying to put across. All of these points’ reasons contribute to why this is my favourite po



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