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Essay on Sonnet 18

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Amazing authors can induce thoughts by a single word. The ideas that can form in our heads by a small phrase are powerful. Only the most talented and capable authors can provoke such feelings within us. Who is more than able to stir these feelings in a reader but William Shakespeare? His various plays keep us entranced and curious but it is his poetry that strikes a chord deep within us. Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare is particularly powerful. He writes about a love that cannot be compared to anything in the world because of his deep infatuation.

Shakespeare wrote his sonnet when he was deeply in love with a woman. He starts off his sonnet by implanting an image in our head of a summer day. A summer day triggers a scene that flashes…show more content…

He then proceeds to bombard us with images of natural nuisances such as windy days that "…shake the darling buds of May," hot weather magnified because it is coming from heaven, and changing seasons. Shakespeare has taken the idea of a warm breezy summer day and twisted it into a sweltering day with the sun beating down on us.

However, in the lines after the destruction of a nice day, he makes us smile by the comments he showers on his love. He tells us that his love’s beauty shall remain the same at all times. "…thy…shall not fade." He places an exclamation on that line by using the word eternal. It gives us the feeling that her beauty is one that will last until the end of the earth. Shakespeare then goes on to speak about how exquisite she is. She is different from everyone because she will always have what she has now unlike others that will lose it. Even if death looms before her he has to right or reason to "brag." She will not pale in his shadow. Shakespeare capitalizes Death and personifies him and gives us an image of a grim reaper type character.

In Shakespeare’s ending couplet, he states that no matter what, as long as people are still living and literate, they will read his sonnet. As

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Free College Essays - Shakespeare's Sonnet 76

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Sonnet #76


Sonnet #76 is in the section of Shakespeare's sonnets generally accepted as being written to the "fair young man." However, there is no clear indication within this sonnet to identify its recipient. The form is consistent iambic pentameter with an abab,cdcd,efef,gg rhyme scheme. The basic argument of this sonnet is the power of the sonnet itself as a lasting expression of love.

In the first quatrain, the poet questions himself about his poetic style. He makes reference to it being "barren" (unproductive, dry, lacking richness or interest) of "new pride" which is an archaic expression for "ornament." He questions the lack of variety or innovation. Then he asks himself why he doesn't follow the current fads (trends) and new methods of expression. Within these lines the poet begins on a path of self-examination into what he is doing specifically in writing sonnets to express his love.

These thoughts are further explored in the next quatrain. The poet asks why he writes always in the same form and style keeping his creative imagination tied to a well-known form. This form is the sonnet which fits the poetic style of the writer in the same way as a garment worn frequently enough to be recognized (therefore, a comfortable garment). The poet feels every word he writes reveals his identity because of the identification of the style and manner of word usage with himself. As a child who resembles his or her parent, his way with words is easily identified. Taking this further, just as a parent cannot disown his child as his true offspring, the poet cannot deny the sonnet as his own true form of expression.

In the final quatrain, the poet tells his recipient that he always writes on one theme--his love and the one he loves. For this reason, the poet finds his best tool in reworking his words and the familiar form of the sonnet. Even as a child is a form of expressing true love (an idea from the early sonnets), his sonnets as his offspring express the poet's feelings in his own unique way. He may have to reuse words and images but he hopes that each new time he can improve the word combinations and embellishments to heighten his attempt to communicate love.

The final couplet brings forth the idea that as the sun rises new each day with all its bright freshness while at the same time it is as old as creation, so the poet's love sonnets are both new and old in what they are saying.

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The form may be old, but there is freshness is each new attempt to express himself using the boundaries of its form as a pattern for fully describing and communicating the old ideas of love which have always existed but continue to be new with the dawning of each day in which they continue.

Through the sonnet's arguments, Shakespeare justifies the continued use of this form for his expressions of love. He argues that there is no need to explore new faddish forms when the method he uses offers him the capabilities to fully express himself. Shakespeare recognized the power of working a form to its ultimate expression as opposed to dabbling in a variety of forms without fully mastering any of them. In the sonnet, Shakespeare found his highest capability for expressing love.



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