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Sonnet 18: analysis Englisch LK 25.01 Sonnet 18: Shakespeare Sonnet 18 was written by Shakespeare and published in 1609. The speaker addresses a beloved person to express and praise the person's beauty and to compare it to a wonderful summer day. The main theme is the immortalization of a person by wording an everlasting love and beauty. The poem's structure is characterized by the typical Shakespearean structure consisting of a 14 lines poem with three quatrains and a couplet. The two first quatrains deal with the summer and its weather, comparing it to the speaker's beloved person. However the poet focuses mainly on the imperfect and transient side of this beautiful season. The summer therefore becomes more of a subject of imperfection. After the two first quatrains one can remark the typical Shakespearean thematic volta or turning point, changing to claiming that time won't have an effect on the addressee's beauty. The main theme of eternal beauty and immortalization starts to show. It's about beauty and love surpassing time and death and the escaping from the oblivion that comes with death. The last couplets resemble an explanation for the just mentioned phenomena. Shakespeare outlines that the permanence of his poem ensures the permanence of the addressee's beauty. By verbalising the person's beauty, it will stay immortal and...
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everlasting, even after the beloved person's death. This concludes in the poem itself being the source of eternal beauty and therefore expression of love towards the addressed person. Sofia Pluch The structure is supported by the typical iambic pentameter and cross rhyme scheme. The first and third lines and the second and fourth lines of all quatrains rhyme, until the last two lines of the couplet, which both rhyme. Every single line of the poem is end-stopped and there is no flow over into the next lines, which leads to the impression that every single line shows a complete thought. The speaker opens the poem with a rhetorical question addressed to the beloved person (1.1 "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"), to stress the importance of the answer, which will be answered in the full course of the poem. Shakespeare primarily uses imagery of nature throughout the poem to express his feelings about the beauty of his beloved. Therefore one can find suitable stylistic devices, for example a metaphor in line 5 "heavens eye", depicting the sun or a personification of death in the third quatrain "Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade" (1.11). In line 7, one can perceive an alliteration "fair from fair", indicating that beauty and death form a contrast as a rule and also directly proclaiming that this is not the case for the beauty of his beloved person. The couplet at the end consists of an anaphora (1. 13f. "so long"), which is indicating that these two lines express the same idea. The addressed person is therefore characterized as superior to death, having a forever shining beauty, whose power will even conquer death. This also implies that Shakespeare himself declared his poem to be an everlasting poem, knowing his outraging ability of writing poets, and eternalizing words and thoughts. The beauty is secured through eternal words and these words are secured through the beauty itself. Personally, I believe that the simplicity and loveliness of this poem is outstanding and one main reason for the poem's success. The main theme is clearly timeless and I specifically like it because of its deeper theme of immortalization. Lack of time is a theme that has and will affect humans forever and therefore the wish for eternity reflects a universal experience.