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Sonnet 35

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Clare Plunkett

on 28 January 2016

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Transcript of Sonnet 35

Sonnet 35

Edmund Spenser
Theme & Literary Devices
Although Edmund Spenser was related to the wealthy family of Spenser, he grew up poor.

Spenser entered the Merchant Taylor's grammar school as a "poor boy", meaning he attended on a scholarship.

Starting in May of 1569, Spenser attended the University of Cambridge in Pembroke Hall as a sizar, a work-study student.

In 1573 he earned his Bachelor of Arts and in 1576 his Master of Arts, despite having left Cambridge in 1574 due to an epidemic.

"Edmund Spenser".
Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 17 Jan. 2016
Poems, Ireland, and

The Faerie Queene
Spenser began his career with a series of eclogues (pastoral poetry) just like Virgil, the famous author of the Aeneid.
In 1579, Spenser married Machabyas Chylde.
By 1580, Spenser had begun serving Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, working on The Faerie Queene, joined the literary circle headed by Sir Philip Sidney, and was made secretary to Arthur Lord Grey, the new lord deputy of Ireland.
In 1588 or 1589 Spenser took over Kilcolman, a 3,000 acre plantation northwest of Cork, taking with him his son, daughter, and possibly his wife (if she was still living - she had died by 1594 when Spenser married Elizabeth Boyle).
Sir Walter Raleigh, in 1589, aided Spenser in publishing the first three books of
The Faerie Queene
, a poem originally meant to be twelve books long ut now only contains six.
Spenser was innovative and created not only crated his own type of sonnet but also a new type of nine-line stanza.
Theme
True beauty captivates its beholder so that no other sight compares and no glimpse of such beauty will be enough.

The narrator longs to view his love, even though looking upon her increases his desire for her, leaving him eternally unsatisfied.
He is distraught that his eyes cannot capture the entirety of his love's beauty
The entire world seems to pale in comparison to the lover's beauty

Sonnet
A sonnet is a fourteen line poem originating in Italy and brought to England by Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, earl of Surrey.
Sonnet literally means "little song".
A Sonnet Sequence is a group of sonnets by one poet with a unifying theme.

A Spenserian Sonnet is a sonnet which contains three quatrains (four line segments) followed with a rhyming couplet.
The rhyme scheme for Spenserian Sonnets is
abab bcbc cdcd ee.
Elizabethan Poetry
Poetry of the time was typically florid and romantic.
Poets focused heavily upon lyric poetry, as opposed to the narrative poetry of years past.
The most famous form of poetry was the sonnet, a 14-line poem popularized in England by William Shakespeare.
My hungry eyes through greedy covetize,
Still to behold the object of their pain,
With no contentment can themselves suffice:
But having pine and having not complain.
For lacking it they cannot life sustain,
And having it they gaze on it the more:
In their amazement like Narcissus vain
Whose eyes him starved: so plenty makes me poor.
Yet are mine eyes so filled with the store
Of that fair sight, that nothing else they brook,
But loathe the things which they did like before,
And can no more endure on them look.
All this world's glory seemeth vain to me,
And all their shows but shadows, saving she.
"In their amazement like Narcissus vain/whose eyes him starved..."

This is a mythological allusion comparing his eyes to Narcissus, who, after falling in love with the image of his reflection, drowned himself in agony.
This relates to the theme of longing - Narcissus, longing to be with his reflection, could see what he desired but never be with it.
Similarly, the speaker can see his love all he wants, but he can never have her in her entirety.
Spenser uses words such as hungry, greedy, and starved to convey the theme of longing.

His use of alliteration in the last line, "shows but shadows, saving she", provides emphasis and reiterates his desire for her and only her.

The alliteration "so plenty makes me poor" is used for emphasis, driving home the point stated in his reference to Narcissus.

Notice the slant rhyme in the first quatrain, "covetize" and "suffice".
Edmund Spenser
Ceci Bourg and Clare Plunkett
Mrs. Stewart
English IV AP
19 January 2016

pg. 241
(1552-1599)
Childhood and Education
Simile and Allusion
Diction and Syntax
Personification
Spenser personifies the speaker's eyes throughout the sonnet
"[T]hey cannot life sustain,"
"In their amazement,"
"But loathe the things which they did like before,/ And can no more endure on them look."
This is significant because it is not the narrator who does the main action of the poem, but his eyes.
Full transcript