Stylistic Approach to Shakespeare’s Sonnets 1-5


  • Segun Omosule Ph. D.



Stylistic Approach, Sonnet, Shakespeare, poetry


: Poetry is a genre of literature that students find difficult to understand over the years. The difficulty may be traced to the cryptic nature of the language of poetry that makes it inaccessible to readers. The desire to make the sonnets of William Shakespeare clearer to secondary school students and undergraduates informs this study. The themes and subject matters of sonnets 1-5 are considered in the study through attention to the language of the poet.William Shakespeare wrote his works in English Language. He lived between 1564 and 1616. He was a potent voice in the era known as the Renaissance. He wrote some sonnets that amply reflected the socio-political contradictions of that period in England. The study sought, therefore to unravel the subject matter of sonnets 1 — 5 through conscious attention to the language of the poet.Language has been a means of communication over the years. From the dawn of time, language has remained a potent means of communication. It is the instrument through which landmarks are recorded. Poetry and other disciplines rely greatly on language. It is debatable whether there could be development without language.However, the language of poetry has been a source of concern to students and critics over the years. This source of concern centres on the abstract nature of the language of poetry. William Shakespeare’s poems are adjudged difficult as a result of the language and the need to transcend the level of ordinary communicative usage to the individualised world of the poet. Secondary school students and undergraduates alike, therefore, find these poems difficult to understand.


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