Analysis Of Edmund Spenser's Sonnet 54

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“All the world’s a stage, / And all the men and women merely players.” This line, from William Shakespeare’s play As You Like It, refers to the various stages a person goes through from birth to death. In Edmund Spenser’s Sonnet 54, the ideas of the roles of men and women as players in a theater are also explored, but in a vastly different way. In the sonnet, the speaker describes himself as an actor on the stage trying to elicit an emotional response from his lover through dramatic expressions and theatrical scenes. While Shakespeare uses the metaphor of the stage to describe the roles that humans take on in different stages of life, Spenser uses the metaphor of the stage to describe the roles of men and woman of his time, and how they critique each other’s performances in the theater of the world. …show more content…
It’s rhyme scheme is ABAB BCBC DEDE FF. This rhyme scheme breaks from the typical rhyme scheme of Spenserian Sonnets of ABAB BCBC CDCD EE and the poem is interrupted by a turn. This reflects the uncommon nature of the relationship between the speaker and his love. This sonnet is a part of Amoretti, a collection of poems that Spenser used to woo his future wife, Elizabeth Boyle. Since the speaker is trying to woo a woman like Elizabeth Boyle from Spenser’s time, a woman younger than him, she must have rejected his advances at first. These themes of rejection are depicted in this poem as the speaker tries to get the attention of a lady who appears to be unmovable. This sonnet likely describes a moment Spenser experienced while courting Boyle. The use of atypical rhyme scheme also connects to the fact that the woman in the sonnet’s behavior is atypical of woman in Spenser’s time. A woman who was behaving as expected would delight in his depictions of comedy and pity his depictions of

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