GCSE English Lit HelpWatch
GCSE English Literature Part A - Relationships Cluster
Question 7: Compare the ways poets use structure in Sonnet 43 and Hour to develop ideas about a relationship.
I will be comparing Sonnet 43 to Hour, analysing how they are similar and how they differ in terms of developing ideas about a relationship.
When comparing Sonnet 43 to Hour, the reader can see they present us with opposite forms.
Sonnet 43 is identified and labelled as a Sonnet, but doesn’t follow the conventions a Sonnet should have. An example of this is the rhyming structure of, ‘ABBA’ that is used in the first stanza, as opposed to the, ‘ABAB’ rhyme scheme a conventional sonnet utilises. The poem evokes the idea that the emotion love, which is defined and represented officially as ‘Sonnet 43’ in the title, doesn’t have to be perfect. A relationship’s imperfections is what allows it to be true love.
On the other hand, Hour is not identified as a Sonnet but follows a sonnet form. We can see this in the rhyme schemes, “hour” and “flowers”. Although Hour uses half-rhymes at times, the ‘ABAB’ structure is still followed. The effect of this structure is to prove to the reader that a perfect and true love can be achieved in a time as small as one, ‘Hour’. The poet is also telling us through this, that time has no effect on love.
When comparing Hour to Sonnet 43, both poems use enjambment prevalently to develop ideas about a relationship and what it should feel like.
Sonnet 43 uses enjambment throughout the poem, only pausing at the end of a stanza with a full stop or semi-colon. An example of this is when the speaker says, “I love thee to the depth and breadth and height | my soul can reach”. When reading this line, you struggle with breath because there is no pause. The effect of this is to show that in this relationship, the lover takes the speaker’s breath away. The speaker is excited, eager and very happy to talk about her lover. All of the speaker’s emotions pour out which proves how much the speaker loves and thinks about the lover.
Hour also uses enjambment frequently, but to evoke a different message. The poet also uses enjambment more intensely, by going through stanzas. An example of this is the line, “or spotlight see you better lit | than here.” The author purposefully ended the sentence on the next stanza when he could have ended it on the current one. The effect of this is to show that in a relationship we should be focusing on the present, and that a relationship shouldn’t be restricted, henceforth this poem isn’t restricted by punctuation or stanzas.
When comparing Sonnet 43 to Hour, we know that both poems use repetition for effect.
Sonnet 43 uses repetition by repeating a phrase for emphasis. The phrase, “I love thee” is repeated three times in the poem. The effect of this is to show that in this relationship, the speaker keeps declaring their affection to emphasise how much they love their lover. The speaker is answering the question given on the first line, proving her feelings to their lover.
Hour uses repetition in the last line only for the same effect of emphasis. The line, “love spins gold, gold, gold from straw” is a structural method for the speaker to express how love can make even the most mundane of objects seem valuable, The effect this has on relationship ideas is that no matter where you are or what you’re around, every second of love is more valuable than anything else.
The ideas about a relationship that are developed tell us that love can’t be defined or contained and that true love can take many different forms.