The form an essay takes is guided by the actions your audience is intended to perform. Even a never intended to be read self-confessional diary entry exploring one’s own thoughts and motives has the implied goal of improved future actions.
When the target audience has been defined and the action desired from them ascertained, limits have been created which clarifies what can be said. The target individuals preexisting experiences formed their prejudices and limits what they can hear and accept. When the audience is clearly known then certain words can not be spoken, certain thoughts can not be explored and certain actions can not be proposed. Even carefully prepared preambles to a word, an idea or an action will be taken out of context and used against your argument if it can stimulate a preexisting negative bias. At any given moment a large part of your audience is thinking about something else that you stimulated a moment ago. When their consciousness returns to your presentation they begin with what they tune into at that moment and if that word or idea is too nuanced in some way you have lost them and they are off thinking of something else again.
The style, the externally viewed and seen effects of the presentation, is directed to the same end. It must be adjusted to be acceptable to the audience in the setting where it will be received.
The type of essay will not be perceived by anyone but the author and those who have the motivation and opportunity to analyse the layout structure. It is the bones of the structure which gives the whole presentation its compactness, movement and comprehensibility. It can only be viewed after the essay is finished.
Each of these limitations upon an essay give it added strength. They make it more comprehensible and acceptable. In the end they make the world a better place because of the actions performed.
The Shakespearean sonnet is an extreme form of the short essay type, consisting three quatrains and a concluding couplet in iambic pentameter with the rhyme pattern abab cdcd efef gg. Also the first quatrain introduces an idea, the second one a contrasting idea, the third one, a jump to commingling of the ideas. The sonnet concludes with a couplet, a concise resolution of the conflicts. It is like a constrictor snake forcing the writer to compress his thoughts into an ever more compact forms, gasping for life. The following sonnet illustrates these ideas.
William Shakespeare – Sonnet LXXIII
That time of year thou mayst in me behold,
When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day,
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self that seals up all in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed, whereon it must expire,
Consumed by that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.
This short essay has all of the other requirements to perfection and concludes with the command to take action by the audience.
Apply your self to enjoying what you have, while you have consciousness to do so.