3 Jun 2013

Shakespeare's Sonnets: Poetry for GCSE and IGCSE English Literature Exam and Controlled Assessment

A* Model Essays
Learn more about the scandal behind Shakespeare's secret sonnets. One of the most famous romantic poems of all time is not what it seems. Stolen, sold after his death, Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 takes describes an emotional roller coaster of sex, betrayal and rage... [watch the video]

Original Sonnet plus Translation
Sonnet 129 The Expense of Spirit
+ Sonnet 147 My Love is Like a Fever

Background for A-A*
Influence of the Petrarchan Sonnet and Thomas Wyatt's translations of Petrarch Are you a Petrarchan lover? Do you drip, swoon and melt at the sight of your lady who kills you with a look? At the start of Romeo and Juliet, this is the character type that Shakespeare is making fun of when Romeo is drooping all over the stage for the great love of his life... Rosaline. Er, Rosaline who? So who is Petrarch?  Francisco Petrarch (1304-1374) was... [read more]
+ Carpe Diem Poetry: imagery of transience, sex and death: 'To His Coy Mistress' and 'Go Lovely RoseCarpe Diem is a famous Latin motto, which means 'Seize the Day'. It tells us to live life to the full. Poets used this motif in poems persuading their uncooperative girlfriends to go to bed with them. Here, the poets urge - sleep with me please - because soon we'll be dead. Yeah - it's a bit Emo. In these poems, images of sex and death are strangely mixed. Marvell tells his lover... [read more]
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Need to compare these to Romeo and Juliet? Go here.