Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Ralph M. Wardle


In An Apology for Poetry, Sidney repeats the ancient dictum that poesy in an “art of imitation.” He continues by explaining that poesy is essentially “a speaking picture” with an end to teach and delight. This conception of literature was not confined to the study of poetry. The writers of emblem books, common from the medieval allegory writers to the metaphysical, suggest that painting is even dumb poetry. This is not necessarily a confusion of genres, but it says something about the basic premise of this paper. The sonnet tradition and what Shakespeare wrote in his sonnet sequence, particularly Sonnets 1-126, is dramatized in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It is molding of ideas, themes, imagery, structure and its resultant tension between form and emotion, distributed throughout the sonnet sequence, into a structured coherent image of man and his world – in character, conflict and in specific plot movement. It is poetic potential actualized. Romeo and Juliet is a speaking sonnet.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of English and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1970 Maxine Elizabeth Crane.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."