What are good college level questions to ask for Sonnet 75 by Edmund Spencer to a class?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since the literary application of the theme of individual immortalized love is that poetry is an immortalizing art and therefore of high and inestimable value, a logical question would be whether poetry is a higher art form than others. If you investigate the background of Sir Phillip Sidney's mimetic theory pertaining to poetry, a theory held equally by Spenser, you'll have a deeper sense of the depth of this belief of the value of poetry.

The theory holds in brief that poetry is an imitation of immutable principles of the Judaeo-Christian God which are communicated to the poet by his inspiration and are intended to instruct in living a pure and upright life. The theory is much more complex than this, but this brief statement serves as an introduction.

A second question would pertain to the analysis of the meter, which undergoes a marvelous change in the last two lines and transports the reader to another emotional plane altogether. A related question would pertain to Spenser's means of creating that metamorphosis of tension at those two lines. Spenser worked upward from the very letters, their very sounds, in creating his poetry and its affect. This ought to keep you busy!