Homework for Thursday Read Acts II-IV of Hamlet.
Sample Close Reading Thesis Rita Dove uses both form and content in “Persephone, Falling” to explore the concept that when isolated, the mother-home relationship offers comfort. Closer examination of the text, however, proves that external threats corrupt the mother’s thoughts, causing her inadvertently to turn her home into a prison for her curious daughter.
Sonnet 86 Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,Bound for the prize of all too precious you,That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse,Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew?Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to writeAbove a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?No, neither he, nor his compeers by nightGiving him aid, my verse astonished.He, nor that affable familiar ghostWhich nightly gulls him with intelligence,As victors of my silence cannot boast;I was not sick of any fear from thence: But when your countenance filled up his line, Then lacked I matter; that enfeebled mine. http://www.shakespeares-sonnets.com/sonnet/86
Thesis Statements: Close Reading of Sonnet Although the speaker explicitly described his rivalry with a rival poet, it is his internal struggle that proves most significant. Through this disheartening conflict, the speaker in fact fuels his creative process in a display of irony. The speaker, rather than lamenting the loss of the ambiguous “you” to his rival poet, in fact resents the poet’s shifting affections. This sentiment is communicated through the poem’s sarcastic and mocking tone, the recurring questioning, and the surprising reversal of the closing couplet.
Through the use of ambiguity in his subjects and adjectives, the speaker of “Sonnet 86” questions whether the source of his problem is the rival poet or the public’s reaction to him. The speaker depicts frustration in his struggle with an opponent with regards to losses in his life with dual meaning in his diction.
The contrasting imagery of the narrator’s miscarried thoughts and his rival’s ghostly accomplice illustrate the gradual degeneration of the narrator’s poetry and self. However, this process of fading is not a result of the rival’s prowess but the consequence of having his muse, both a source of inspiration and purpose, stolen. “Sonnet 86” contains various forms of imagery that are used by the speaker to mock his rival. An analysis of this imagery shows that he also uses the figures of spirits and devils to question the legitimacy of his rival’s works.