A Critical Analysis of 'The Parting' by Michael Drayton

879 Words Oct 16th, 1999 4 Pages
A Critical Analysis of "The Parting" by Michael Drayton

By looking at a poem which has a specific form, for example the sonnet, consider to what extent its particular techniques enhance its meaning.

The parting by Michael Drayton is a sonnet. It is a poem about the break up of the relationship between the author and his partner. I feel that the meaning of the poem is greatly enhanced by its form, and for a variety of reasons. Firstly, because the sonnet is a very strict form, the author has to be very careful in constructing his poem, to ensure that it fits the design constraints. One of these constraints is that the sonnet is very short, at only
14 lines. This forces the author to distill his thoughts and feelings into as compact a
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The author again breaks the rhythm in the last two lines, using eleven syllables instead of ten. This is clearly not a mistake or an accident, and has been done for one of two reasons; to add emphasis to these lines because seem out of place due to their length, or because the author felt that he simply could not sum up his feelings in the eleven syllables that the standard sonent affords him.

When looking at the rhythm
, we should look not only at the line length but also at the ryhme scheme. In the first two quatrains, the rhyme words are very harsh, distancing the author from from the poem. For example, there are the very harsh constonant sounds of "part" and "heart", However, in the third quatrain, there are musch softer sounds, such as "breath", "death", "lies" and
"eyes". The harsh 'r 's and 't 's are replaces by softer 'th 's and 's 's.

Indeed, this pattern is mirrored throughout the poem; in the first two quatrains, the language is harsh, and cold, and aafter the volta, in the third and fourth quatrains, the langauge is softer and more personal. Again, this is a function of the form of the sonnet; there must be a drastic change of ideas after line eight. For example, there is the brutally aggressive "you get no more of me" in the second line, and the much gentler "Now at the last gasp of love 's latest breath".

However, the author uses the volta not only to change the language, but also the entire message. Instead of driving her
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