Spenser's Amoretti and Epithalamion

Spencer's Sonnet 75

During the Elizabethan age, love sonnets traditionally told the story of men in love with unattainable women. However, Spenser's sonnets from his sonnet sequence "Amoretti" defy the general pessimism and give an optimistic look at love. In fact, his "Sonnet 75" shows such optimism that his persona, after a realization in the poem, claims that his love will be immortal through verse. "Sonnet 75" stands as a successful sonnet because it presents an optimistic view on love through graphic imagery and a realistic story. Spencer takes the success of the work a step further because he uses form, rhyme, personification, and alliteration to mirror the imagery and story of his Elizabethan sonnet.

Spencer's sonnet contains three quatrains and a couplet. The form of each part plays an important role in creating the story of the poem. The first quatrain contains a physical description of the strand. In this description, Spencer includes the image of the tide washing away the persona's lover's name. This image propels the rest of the poem. The second quatrain contains the dialogue of the lover as she responds to the distress of the persona. She declares that he seems foolish for trying to make a...

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