Elizabethan Love Poetry Poem Review by Nicky

Elizabethan Love Poetry
A comparative analysis of the theme of morality in William Shakespeare's "Sonnet #29" and Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke's "Psalm 51".
# 149485 | 881 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Dec 19, 2011 in Literature (Poetry) , English (Comparison)

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This paper discusses how Elizabethan love poetry is laden with themes related to morality, such as in relation to sexual relations and how many Elizabethan poems also address morality in the general context of ethics and social grace. In particular, it looks at how William Shakespeare's "Sonnet #29" is one such poem that addresses morality within the context of politics and social norms and how it displays the poet's remarkable ability to convey moral meaning without being pedantic. In comparison, the paper examines how a set of religious Christian morals is addressed in Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke's "Psalm 51" and how by simply calling her poems psalms reveals Herbert's religiosity. The paper further discusses how her poem also reads like a guilt-ridden confessional and therefore has a different tone than Shakespeare's "Sonnet #29". The paper concludes that both Shakespeare and Herbert demonstrate the distinction between secular and religious moral attitudes that emerged in Elizabethan England.

From the Paper:

"Another difference between secular and religious morality is the preferred method of absolution. When the narrator of Shakespeare's Sonnet #29 seeks absolution he or she does not petition the Lord. In fact, the narrator does not seem remorseful at all. The last line of the sonnet reads, "I scorn to change my state with kings," which suggests that the narrator feels morally justified for whatever action led to his being a pariah (l 14). On the other hand, Herbert's narrator in Pslam 51 repeatedly begs the Lord for grace and forgiveness. Likewise, the narrator of Herbert's poem expresses shame in a way that the narrator of Shakespeare's Sonnet #29 does not. "My filthy fault, my faulty filthiness," is an example of how the narrator feels inherently dirty and sinful (Herbert l 9). "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Herbert, Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke. "Psalm 51." Retrieved July 15, 2009 from http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/psalm51.htm
  • Shakespeare, William. "Sonnet 29." Retrieved July 15, 2009 from http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/29.html

Cite this Poem Review:

APA Format

Elizabethan Love Poetry (2011, December 19) Retrieved May 28, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/poem-review/elizabethan-love-poetry-149485/

MLA Format

"Elizabethan Love Poetry" 19 December 2011. Web. 28 May. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/poem-review/elizabethan-love-poetry-149485/>