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Transcript of Sonnet 39
-Rhyme scheme of abab bcbc cdcd ee
-3 quatrains and a couplet Apostrophe: “Come Sleep! O Sleep…” (line 1)
Explanation: Directly addressing Sleep and offering to “pay” for refuge gives Sleep a more solid image than if the poem were to just talk about sleeping to escape life
Personification: “Of those fierce darts Despair at me doth throw” (line 6)
Explanation: Personification of Despair has more impact, makes the idea of despair harsher and persuades readers to see the negativity in life and how sleep makes it all go away Shift is introduced in line 12, but begins in the couplet lines 13-14 with a shift in subject from the comforts the narrator wants from Sleep to what the narrator can offer Sleep: a chance to see his beautiful love, Stella. Historical Background -Written sometime in 1591
-“Sidney did not think of himself as primarily a writer” (poetryfoundation.org)
-Sonnet 39 is in his collection “Astrophel to Stella,” written to Penelope Devereaux, the daughter of the Earl of Essex, Walter Devereaux (poetryfoundation.org)
-Originally, the Earl wanted Sidney to marry his daughter eventually, though when they met he was 21 and she was 12 (poetryfoundation.org)
-After the Earl’s death, Penelope eventually married another man, leading to Sidney writing these sonnets (poetryfoundation.org)
-Compared to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29 (1609) that also included a narrator yearning for sleep (Mortensen 1) Theme of the Poem Sleep is an escape from the harsh realities of life. Tone Sadness, despair, longing Citations Poetryfoundation.org. “Philip Sidney.” Poetry Foundation, 2012. Web. 15 January 2013. <http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/philip-sidney>.
Mortensen, Matt. “A Little Lost Sleep Never Hurt Nobody.” Poetry Explication: Comparing Shakespeare's 27 and Sidney's 39. Helium, 2013. Web. 15 January 2013. <http://www.helium.com/items/610955-poetry-explicaton-comparing-shakespeares-27-and-sidneys-39>. Sound Devices Parallelism: “the poor man’s wealth, the prisoner’s release” (line 3)
Explanation: The use of parallelism here is to make the sonnet flow smoother.
Alliteration: “…darts Despair at me doth throw” (line 6)
Explanation: The alliteration grabs the readers attention to this point in the poem to show its significance.