What similar poetic devices appear both in Edmund Spenser's Amoretti 75 and in Shakespeare's sonnet 116?
Sonnet 75 from Edmund Spenser’s Amoretti sequence and sonnet 116 from Shakespeare’s collection of sonnets both use a number of similar literary devices. Among those devices are the following:
- Line one of sonnet 75 uses assonance, the repetition of similar vowel sounds; so does line 5 of Shakespeare’s sonnet:
One day I wrote her name upon the strand . . . .
O, no, it is an ever-fixed mark
- Line 4 of Spenser’s sonnet uses alliteration, the repetition of consonant sounds (“made my paynes his prey”). So, too, does line 1 of Shakespeare’s poem “Let me not to the marriage of true minds . . . .”).
- Line 4 of Spenser’s sonnet uses personification (“But came the tyde, and made my paynes his prey”). So, too, does line 9 of Shakespeare’s poem (“Love’s not Time’s fool”).
- Lines 9-10 of Spenser’s sonnet use enjambment, in which the poet uses no punctuation at the end of a line and thus runs the sense of the phrasing smoothly into the next line:
“Not so,” quod I, “let baser things devize
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame . . . .”
Shakespeare uses this device frequently throughout his sonnet, as in lines 1-2:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments . . . .
- Both poems use imagery of nature to emphasize their points (as in lines 1-2 of Spenser’s sonnet and in lines 6 and 10 of Shakespeare’s poem).
Both poems celebrate true love (as opposed to selfish desire). Spenser’s is literally more dramatic, since both the male and the female speak; Shakespeare’s poem, on the other hand, presents simply the voice of the speaker himself.