English Literature, Sonnet

English 2 Exam
Question 1

This sonnet focuses on the concept of mutability with an emphasis on change of time, the
aging process, and mortality. It is thoughtful, reflective, and represents an aging individual's
voice aimed at a partner whose love the speaker wants. The speaker mentions that music has
changed alongside the season. Irrespective of the darker tones, the sonnet is not a sad read.
People often age, but they endure the period. As the sonnet advances, an outstanding turn occurs
at line 13. The poem explores the strength of a person's love and the love between two
individuals who have been friends for an extended period. Love is deep-rooted and signifies a
form of spiritual love. Therefore, although people have let go of loved ones, they should build
and focus on the current bond of love. The evidence lies in the days and seasons where love
remains strong. Therefore, building love in such seasons allows people to experience it eternally.
Furthermore, the sonnet relates age to various seasons and the natural world. In line 1, the
speaker compares time and the aging process. He further notes that he is growing old, signifying
a change from youth to the elderly. The speaker reminds the partners that he is no longer
youthful like spring, but he loses it, resembling how trees lose their leaves. For example, he
states that "when a few yellow leaves or none at all hang," implying the latter age of the person.
He further emphasizes aging using cold, bare, ruined choir, meaning his reflection about the past.


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Question 2

The theme of mutability is evident in the sonnet as the speaker attest nothing will ever
change love. The poem focuses on the endurance of love. Besides, outlast everything, including
grand palaces, royal buildings, and fine stones. It will also outlive War and time itself up to the
judgment day. According to the speaker, the words will be a living record that the memory of
love will remain active irrespective of the various changes. This implies that impacts of time and
damage forces of War are useless. Furthermore, the speaker tackles the concept of mutability by
exploring multiple nature changes that might affect the beloved.
The twist created entailed guaranteeing overwhelming fame on the poem's subject rather
than the author. Shakespeare has moved from expressing the immortality motif to the notion that
the ineluctable power of poetry will guarantee the expression of perpetual remembrance.
Shakespeare underscores the continuous passage of time as the central theme of the collective
sonnets, and time plays a vital role. According to Shakespeare, time will age the young man
addressed in previous poems. In poem 55, Shakespeare focuses so much on lasting love rather
than the young man. He argues that various factors such as War and precious stones might
change the youth, but they pose little threat to everlasting love. However, the youth's essence,
including his spiritual and physical beauty, will remain after his death. Therefore, Shakespeare
introduces a new focus in sonnet 55. Rather than communicating to the youth directly, he
explores the resilience of everlasting love.

Question 3

The poem tackles the theme of mutability by exposing the imperfection of nature. Within
the first eight lines, the speaker argues that summer and spring are temporary seasons. He states
that all seasons are short and explore these seasons' nature by saying that sometimes summer is

always scorching. Indeed, the seasons change as well. This last concept summarizes the
mutability of nature. The speaker starts the sonnet by inquiring whether he should compare his
beloved to a summer's day but fails to offer an answer. This is because he understands that his
beloved beauty is ageless and rigid. Nevertheless, nature can occur as both terrifying and
beautiful, and that the change from one state to another can happen at any time. One moment the
sun's light can lighten and refresh the earth, while on the next moment, the light might
completely fade away, filling the sky with clouds and the likelihood of rain. The speaker
described both of these occurrences of nature to indicate the mutability of nature.
Furthermore, summertime is often a hit or amiss based on weather conditions. Winds
usually blow, rain clouds gather, and before people understand their surroundings, summer has
come and disappeared within a week. The speaker denotes that seasons are temporal and too
short. And individuals often complain during a hot time and moan when it is too cold. The
speaker further suggests that summer usually passes quickly for most individuals, and they will
become old. It is natural for their beauty to fade with the passage of seasons.

Question 4

Shakespeare used various poetic devices in sonnet 116 to demonstrate love and explain
the meaning of marriage. All these devices operate collectively to reinforce the common theme.
The speaker uses the dominant phrase “the marriage of true minds," which implies that valid
marriage entails a merger of minds instead of a mere license for the combination of bodies.
Besides, Shakespeare illustrates that true love originates from and combines senses at the highest
human operation level. This implies that love is mental and spiritual. Furthermore, the same
highest level is meant for simple minds. This statement demonstrates that those who have
exchanged vows ought to be true to one another. It emphasizes the spirituality of loving and


gives it a religious connotation. The speaker further uses the words “marriage and
“impediments” to indicate the service's language and proof the sacred nature of love.
The speaker further uses various metaphors to indicate the entire attribute of love. He
notes that love is "an ever-fixed mark that focuses on tempests and never shaken." This statement
shows that love resembles a navigating tool securely mounted and remains functional in hard
times. He also regards love as a star that surpasses human thoughts. He also states that love is
not time's fool to imply that the transformation of times cannot change love into a fool. The
phrase love is not within his compass suggests that love is above grip and reckoning. Lastly, the
speaker uses paradox by stating that "if this is an error, then disapproves the statement. He
creates a contradiction while considering love as double-edged and remains unsure whether the
demonstration is correct.

Question 5

Sonnet 20 discovers the links between female and male sexuality. The speaker speaks to
a fair youth. Reading across the poem, the speaker describes the physical features that also have
a feminine appeal that attracts all genders. Besides, the speaker explores the fair youth’s
sexuality and sexual interaction features. The narrator directly to the youth, noting that the
person is beautiful with great feminine charm. Still, nature gave the person manhood, making
women be the person's pleasure and a channel of procreation. However, both the speaker and the
audience share a lasting platonic form of love as depicted in that last line.
Furthermore, this sonnet highlights the dual of the youth’s appearance. The person
resembles a lady. He represents the narrator’s passion because of her gentle heart, but also has
male features evident through his control capacity and both women and women are attracted to
him. Besides, the youth has male features to please women, and the speaker feels disappointed.

The speaker admires this person, deeply in love, but recognizes that he cannot consummate the
love. Therefore, the speaker can only praise the person’s beauty and acknowledge that the youth
is obviously adapted to the female species. The youth likes women and might like to satisfy
them. The couplet indicates that the narrator might only enjoy platonic love since man is
predestined to please women physically. Two passions are contrasted. The former is the genuine
form of love since it does not entail sexual activities. However, the latter related to sex, where
treasure signifies reward or interest.

Question 6

In Sonnet 130, the speaker changes the concept of a female's beauty and provides the
audience with an alternate perception of loving a woman irrespective of her weaknesses. Creates
an era where women were praised and regarded as outstanding. This sonnet breaches the societal
expectations and creates a new perception in the process. The poem covers significant themes
such as Female Beauty, the anatomy of love but realistically illustrates them.
Similarly, the poet praises the mistress's deficiencies that makes him appear honest. In
this case, the speaker attempts to denote that true love does not rely on some elusive notion of
perfect beauty. He accepts that his beloved does not feature an epitome of beauty but a true
woman. Therefore, Shakespeare does not use any poetic falsity to display the lover's beauty. The
sonnet majorly addresses the issues related to relationship, pain, delight, anguish, and
Enthymeme refers to a syllogism where one of the terminologies is omitted, and the
reader must deduce the word. For example, a persona can restructure the fill syllogism and state
that Snow is white; my lover's breast is dull gray. This implies that the lover's breasts do not
resemble Snow since Snow is white. The conclusion might be right and but the simile women's

breasts are while like Snow." might appear incorrect. Line 4 provides another enthymeme
starting with the statement "if hairs are wires and concluding that the woman's hair is black. The
use of enthymeme focuses on false comparisons that assume a person's critical features or an
event. The readers should fill the gaps with suitable terminologies.

Question 7

Sonnet 29 is about love and hopelessness. It talks about the unlucky man who is
frustrated with his current lifestyle. The poem also demonstrates the power and effect of true
love. The speaker appears downcast concerning fate but becomes happy when he remembers his
beloved. He is also discontent and laments about his dejected predicament of life. The speaker
curses his poor destiny for the disastrous state. He feels useless and reckless. Besides, the
speaker feels that even God has failed to answer his calls. He is also jealous of the successful and
talented individuals around him. He desires to be wealthy but gets disappointments and failures.
However, after cursing his current pathetic condition, the speaker suddenly speaks about a
particular person. This talk suddenly changes his mood dramatically. The remembrance of love
offers the speaker massive pleasure and eliminates his negative feelings. However, the magical
impact of love that removes the speaker's sorrow and makes him happy is what sticks to the
readers' minds.
Similarly, the sonnet explores the speaker's miserable experience and the effect of love. It
also describes how love causes hopefulness and hope for individuals who are lonely and
oppressed. Therefore, the poem tackles the concept of self-motivation. The speaker does not
want to change his state with kings because of the significance of true love. The woman's love is
more important to the speaker than the riches, most influential people on earth. This implies that
true love is the solution to people's problems and makes them content with their belonging.


Question 8

Titania’s message is based on jealousy and disaster. She is trying to defending herself
against the accusations from her husband. According to her, the allegations of sleeping with a
young boy are jealous lies. She complains that they have not practiced their dances in the wind
because of the husband and his arguments. Titania further complains that arguments have also
hindered them from meeting in diverse places such as hills, valleys, forests, streams and in
oceans. She tries to remind the husband that his disturbances has interrupted her daily activities.
The husband keeps disturbing them. Titania also uses seasons such as summer and spring to
measure the length of their arguments. She also natures to explain the scope of their
disagreements, such as the angry moon, lousy weather, bad moods. Therefore, Titania attempts
to describe how their arguments have affected nature and changed the seasons. She also covers
the effects of conflicts in personal relationships.
In this monologue, Titania attempts to convince the husbands about the suffering she is
going through. She outlines the things that have gone wrong due to their continuous conflicts and
how they even affected the people around them. As the queen and King, Titania explores the
impacts of their habits on the entire society. She appears to convince the husband to stop
following her and minimize the quarrels that pose severe effects on nature. The message also
illustrates Titania’s defense against the accusation the husband levels against her. She attempts to
clear her name from unfaithfulness and blame the husband for all their problems.

Question 9

The mechanicals has the challenge of getting a place to rehearse away from their
colleagues. They move to the moonlight forest, unaware that the site is full of young couples

trapped in immensely complex relationships. However, the mechanicals finds a marvelous
convenient for the rehearsals, and they establish about it.
The dynamics of the rehearsal room resembles a professional theatre within a forest.
Bottom proposes various solutions to the anticipated problems that might impacts their
rehearsals. The first problem is that Pyramus's suicide will scare the women and the lion mask
mighty also cause havoc. In this case, Bottom suggests a prologue where, after a range of
reassurances, they agree not to do any harm using their swords, and they will not kill Pyramus.
The Pyramus will reveal itself as a bottom to the weavers, putting the ladies out of fear. In the
scare the lion will cause, tom Snout proposes a second prologue suggesting that the lion is not a
lion. However, Bottom indicates that the actor should put on the lion mask half way and directly
talk to the women. The actor should assure ladies that he is not a lion but a man just like other
men. Other problems also occur concerning the light to be used while acting at the Duke’s place.
And to use as a wall where Pyramus and Thisbe will perform their romance. Quince states that
someone will carry a lantern and declare that he comes represent the moonlight. Bottom says that
someone will go and report himself to the wall.
Question 10

Helena accuses her friend Hermia of snatching her husband. She claims that three of the
actors have merged to play a cruel trick on her. She also accuses Hermia of being ungrateful by
conspiring with others to provoke her with hurtful teasing. Besides, Helena flashbacks about
their talks with Hermia and the vows they made to be sisters. She further talks about the good
times they spend together. They never wished to say goodbye. However, Helena feels betrayed
since Hermia seems to have forgotten all the good times they previously had together. She claims
of tight friendship with Hermia during their schooldays and childhood innocence. She further

states they used to use two needles to sew one flower indicating their togetherness, sew pieces of
cloth, use one cushion and sing similar songs. All these actions attempt to imply that their hands
and minds could have been merged.
Helena further notes that they grew together with Hermia like twins that appeared
separate but remained together. They resembled two lovely cherries within a stem. According to
Helena, they had two distinct bodies but one heart. She laments why Hermia wants to damage
their old friendship by supporting the men while insulting her. Such characters are not friendly,
and they don't represent a lady's habit. She claims that all women will despise Hermia for joining
men who insult her, but she is the only one feeling the pain. Therefore, Helena focuses on the
betrayal nature of friends and how men often insult women. According to the speech, it is clear
that some friends are not trustworthy.

Question 11

Thesus claims that he will never believe the legends of fairytales. This is because loves
and madmen fantasize concerning occurrences that ordinary individuals cannot understand.
According to Thesus, radical imaginations rule lunatics, poets, and lovers. He claims that some
people believe that they view monsters and devils in all places and are lunatics. He regards
lovers as crazy since they perceive a dark-skinned gypsy as the most beautiful woman on earth.
He further considers poets as pretending to have a fit while confusing the mundane with
paranormal activities. Poets tend to describe things that do not exist and are only imagined.
Therefore, Thesus argues that all the three parties have strong imaginations that they believe that
their happiness originates from a god or some supernatural who brings joy. Alternatively, they
think to think that fear originates from some wild animals or shrubbery. This implies that
lunatics, poets, and lovers lack real life. Their entire lifestyles are founded on imagination.

Theseus believes that an individual's perception, whether poet, lover or lunatic,
determines his perception in what he observes. According to Theseus, imagination controls all
three since it tackles with an individual's insights. For instance, if someone perceives to be loved,
irrespective of whether it is true or false, they tend to believe and act consequently. This implies
that the poet, lunatics, and lovers also tackle life based on perceptions that Theseus calls
imagination. Therefore, Theseus presents a dire picture for the poet, lover, and lunatic since he
claims that they are not grounded on reality but on fantasies concerning things that do not exist.

Question 12

Donne applies a hypothetical conceit between relationships complications and a flea to
establish the speaker's arguments towards convincing a particular to lose her innocence. Through
presenting the flea as a double illustration, the poet tells both a complicated and straightforward
story. The conceit explores a flea who has bitten both the narrator and his female partner. The
narrator claims that the bite creates oneness between them that resembles sexual contact and thus
the woman's virtue should not be a problem in their relationship. The flea supports the narrator’s
claim that sex creates oneness of souls similar to the flea bite. The narrator argues that woman
should not be guilty of engaging in sex with him since the flea bite has already merged their
blood with an edge.
Similarly, Donne uses the flea, the blood it extracts, and its final death as signs of love.
The blood removed from the couple represents their souls, and the bite involved the soul merge
that resembles sexual intercourse. According to the speaker, they have gone through something
similar to sex so physical action should not be a problem. Besides, Donne uses the fleas' death to
emphasize the continuous metaphysical conceit regarding the relationship between sex and love.
The narrator’s partner intimidates that she will kill the flea and kills it. The murder signified her

focus to preserve her chastity and control her life. The murder also emphasizes the distinct
perceptions of the couple. In this poem, Donne's theoretical conceit links a fleas' bite and murder
to a couple in conflict about the significance of sex.
Question 13

Donne uses figurative, rhetorical, and hyperbole tools in the poem to illustrate the shift of
the external world for the sake of two lovers’ inner world and how the sun performs its
responsibilities by spinning around the bedroom. He uses figurative language across the entire
poem. He compares the sun to a busy old fool in the first stanza. And he also uses "through
windows and curtains call on us" as a figurative language for eyes. A wink enables the sun to
intrude into the lover's inner world. However, readers understand that the lovers' bedroom is not
located at the world's center, and the sun does not spin over it.
Donne's dislocation of the external world for the sake of the lovers' inner world applies a
rhetorical method to try and prove, by reason, the toughness and strength of a couple's love.
Donne expects the readers to have answers already when he inquires why the sun calls on us.
And why shouldst thou think? Donne uses language to help the reader surpass the material
world's hindrances by eliminating external effects and coercing the sun to spin around the lovers.
Donne further mergers figurative language, rhetorical tools, and hyperbole to alter the external
world to revolve around the lover's inner world. He pushes the sun away in stanza five but calls it
to shine on the lovers in stanza 29. These exaggerations emphasize the lovers as the world's
center. The sun shining on the lovers would expose them to other people and make them the
center of attention.


Question 14

The compass applied in metaphysical poetry represents the relationship between two
lovers having two distinct bodies but merged bodies. Donne has dominantly used the compass
symbol to explore the lover’s feelings and relationships. As compasses assist sailors in
navigating deep waters, they metaphorically assist lovers in remaining connected when they
reside away from one another or in distance places. In “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning,”
the narrator uses a twin compass to compare both his and the partner’s soul. Generally referred to
as a designer’s compass, twin compasses comprises two legs. One leg is always fixes while the
other can move freely. In the poem, the narrator acts as the portable leg, while the partner is the
static leg. Based on the poem, the oneness between them and the companion's stability allows the
narrator draw a seamless circle when they are separated by distance. Though the narrator can
draw the circle when the compass’ stands are separate, the company can ultimately be closed up,
and the two legs merged again after outlining the process.
Similarly, according to Magill, Donne used the conceit of twin compasses to describe the
relationship between lovers. As the planets for a circuit in 36,000 years, t5he compass creates a
circle of 360 degrees. The 36 lines in the poem also illustrate this symbolism. The process is a
traditional illustration of everlasting love since it has no beginning and end, resulting in the
wedding ring's tradition. The completion of the circle assures the lovers' meeting at the end of the

Question 15

Saint Lucy’s day is often celebrated on December 13. The Julian calendar was being
used when Donne wrote the poem. This implies that the winter solstice is the shortest day of the

year, and therefore, the darkest occurred on December 13, and the celebration day of Saint Lucy.
The day entails celebrating a martyr's life who refused to denounce despite the harsh
punishments she faces. Her eyes were gouged out to force her to deny Christianity. Therefore,
she is linked with light and vision.
Similarly, Donne's "A Nocturne upon St. Lucy Day" explores the darkest part of the
darkest day. The poem spins around the lack of light. It also concerns transformation, in the
context that alchemist attempts to establish something from nothing or some a noble thing from
chaos. However, the change in the poem occurs in the opposite direction, revolution from light to
darkness. In the Poem, Donne narrates as the persona of a lover. This is both a convention of his
period. The speaker describes the lousy state of the world. He notes that everything is dead,
similar to his being and soul. He feels terrible than the quiet and describes his experiences. He
blames love for his current condition. In this case, the speaker informs the reader about the
lover's death. Together they lived happily but were desperate when apart from one another. But
death introduced a permanent separation, and the reason has no purpose for being alive. The
narrator is the limbec that represents a container. It has been used to ow that the narrator has
been distilled to nothing. All the things that made him happy and human are gone.