– Compare and contrast two or three of our sonneteers—Shakespeare, Wyatt, Spenser, Sidney, and Raleigh
– Consider the author’s biography, theme(s), and poetics. Discuss how the authors borrow from and adapt the Petrarchan conventions to their own ends. How does each poet show us a different aspect of Renaissance art and life? How does each poet treat his “beloved” or ostensible recipient? Which poet exhibits the most skill (with specifics about why you believe this)? You do not have to address each question. These are examples of issues you might address.
– You should choose one or two *sonnets(NEEDS TO BE SONNETS)* to represent each poet, explicate them fully, including rhyme scheme and scansion where they are significant, and show how the different poets both resemble and differ from each other.
– Do not quote the entire poems in your paper. Choose your quotes judiciously and make them brief.
– You cannot use “Utopia” by Thomas More, “The Faerie Queen” by Sir Edmund Spencer, “Astrophil and Stella” by Philip Sidney, “Hero and Leander” By Christopher Marlowe, “Tragical History of Doctor Faustus” by Christopher Marlowe, and “King Lear” by William Shakespeare
– Do most or all of this without an outside source. Use your own close reading of the poems.
– Length: approximately 1,500 word essay
– Format: 12-point font, word-processed, double-spaced, using MLA format
– Research: No secondary research is needed. You may use other sources sparingly for background and critical ideas.
– Works Cited: You do need a Works Cited page, however. It will simply be brief. Include your textbook as the source of the poems and for any background or notes and cite it appropriately. (You do not need to use a textbook. Just quotes from the sonnet.)
– Quotations: Cite page numbers and line numbers in parentheses after quotations, using MLA format.(Just include quote. I will cite page and line numbers myself.)
– Thesis: Include a clear thesis that makes an argument. Use explanations and quotations from the text to support your claim. For example, “Sir Thomas Pembroke uses the sonnet to accuse his enemies of treachery, turning this classic vehicle for love into a political weapon. John Duckerman, on the other hand, writes a rhythmic, relatively simple line that follows Petrarchan conventions. Both men were finally rejected and suffered for the poetry that had built their reputation.”