sonnet analysis

sonnet analysis - Professor Nugent English 2000 6 November...

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English 2000 6 November 2006 According to Adam’s Poetic Designs , “The English sonnet is divided into four major parts, three quatrains plus a couplet, rhyming abab cdcd efef gg ”(Adams, p.89). Milton’s poem, “How Soon Hath Time,” does not appear to be divided into such a rhyme scheme. It is a mixed rhyme scheme, abba ccdc def gg . The poem is divided into two quatrains and two three lined stanzas to fill out the sonnet. The rhyme scheme progresses in a way that emphasizes specific words and images that are discussing age such as “youth, truth, heav’n”(Milton). Other words emphasize other aspects of the poem like the nature of aging and how it is almost personified to approach a person with human like qualities. Age comes to a person “slowly” it approaches “near” and it “appears”(Milton). All of these qualities that age possesses can also be looked at with a metaphorical approach. One interpretation for the placement of the quatrains and couplets could be that Milton was demonstrating the way life builds up and begins strong and eventually wanes and dies. The poem begins with two strong quatrains that provide the reader with a sense of time passing with the force of a youth. Towards the end, Milton’s poem begins to die and is three lines in each stanza with references to heaven and to a divine force controlling his life and taking him to a new existence(Milton). The turn in the logic of the narrative is how Milton describes age taking a toll on him and the transient nature of growing old. Then his narrative turns around to discuss his spiritual and everlasting self and to where “time will lead him”(Milton). Different interpretations can and will lead to different results. Simply observing the form of the poem, one is inclined to believe that the poem itself is almost dying. 1
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This note was uploaded on 03/18/2009 for the course ENGL 2010 taught by Professor Winokur during the Spring '07 term at Colorado.

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sonnet analysis - Professor Nugent English 2000 6 November...

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