Analyse the features of language in Shakespeare’s sonnet No.18.
We can distinguish the text as a sonnet. A sonnet consists of 14 lines that rhyme (a,b,a,b) and a single rhyming couplet in lines 11 and 14. The explicit purpose of the sonnet when first rdading it is to show affection for a lover.
Shakespeare uses several aspects of graphology that are rarely used in modern literature. Firstly the typeface of it is decorative; this is shown in the enlarged “S” and also the handwriting. Also the final rhyming couplet is indented, perhaps to imply a conclusion, but could be to draw the eye to it. The use of certain aspects of graphology in the poem is now outdated, and shows that the poem was written in the time of early – modern English, which started around 1500ad.
The title of the sonnet shows that it was written in a different era. As a sign of affection to a woman, the man in the relationship would often write a collection of short poems to display his love for her. In modern society, with advancements in technology as well as changing social attitudes, an e-mail or text message would suffice. Modern society only uses a poem as a sign of affection in such things as greetings cards. However these are still a rather an old-fashioned method of affection, and it could be argued that since the invention of the computer and mobile communications, poems are a trademark of past generations.
By looking at No.18 we can tell that spelling wasn’t as important as it is today. Comparing lines 1 and 4, the word “summer” is spelt in differing ways. This seems strange when Shakespeare is renowned for his literary mind. But when the sonnet was constructed in 1609, educational standards were lower. Changes in spelling have also occurred in words like May (See line 3), this is because of the rarity of the ‘ay’ combination of letters. Also the errors in the sonnet could be connected to the audience being closed and private. The poem was not necessarily intended for the...