• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

William Shakespeare's sonnet 1 - analysis

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

ENGL 2305-003 19 September 2004 The poem I analyze in this paper is William Shakespeare's sonnet 1. The main theme of this poem is about the importance of bearing children. I will support this thesis statement by a thorough analysis of the poem's stylistic features and interpretation of its meaning. The first quatrain of sonnet 1 not only introduces the main theme of the poem but also an extended metaphor comparing the roe to the subject that is used throughout the poem. In line one, the speaker says, "From fairest creatures we desire increase." Some stylistic features of line one include alliteration of the words "From" and "fairest" and a stress on the pronoun "we." The alliteration here gives added stress on the first part of "fairest." The poet ties the words "creatures" and "increase" by the repetition of the "crea" sound. This gives the desired effect of tying together increase and human beings, thus the theme of the poem: humans reproducing. In addition, by looking at some of the stressed words and syllables, I notice that "fair" and "sire" pop out, and I think the "sire" is a hint that the speaker is addressing a man, possibly a man of nobility. ...read more.

Middle

The quatrain, which forms a complete sentence, states that having children is the only way to preserve one's beauty and memory. Quatrain 2 discusses the subject's great self-centeredness. In line 5, the speaker says, "But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes." Alliteration of the words "thou" and "thine" draws focus to the fact that the poet is speaking directly to the subject, possibly a man. The statement "contracted to thine own bright eyes" shows the subject is withdrawn in his (or her) own beauty. Next, the speaker states, "Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel" (6). The alliteration of the words "flame" "fuel" and in "self-substantial" again emphasizes the subject's self-absorbance. By pulling out the stressed words, I see that "thy," "self," "flame," and "fuel," stand out and are obviously connected so to emphasize that the subject him or herself is the enemy. In line 7, the speaker says, "Making a famine where abundance lies". Another disrupted stress brings in the possibility of the subject being a noble man. The natural stress of "Making" is broken so that "king" is the strong syllable. ...read more.

Conclusion

This metaphor continues in line 11 when the speaker says, "Within thine own bud buriest thy content." The rose now withers into its "own bud." The natural stress of "content" is interrupted placing stress on "tent," perhaps referring to the hiding or resting of the rose as it withers into itself. Finally, the speaker says, "And tender churl, mak'st waste in niggarding." Line 12 finishes the complete sentence and calls the subject a gentle peasant (p 156) and wasteful by not sharing his contents. The last two lines, the ending couplet, simply sum up the rest of the poem. The speaker calls the subject in line 13: "Pity the world or else the glutton be." The speaker tells the man to reproduce or be a glutton, one who indulges (in himself) excessively. The speaker finishes and says, "To eat the world's due, by the grace and thee" (14). The thought finishes by telling the subject he has used the world without giving back and will die. I think the word "due" may be a pun on the word dew, keeping with the metaphor of the rose. The rose eats the world's dew before withering into itself to die. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sonnets section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sonnets essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Poem Analysis: Felix Randall By Gerald Maneley Hopkins.

    3 star(s)

    Again, the mould of man concept is apparent. Several words that had not been seen in the poem before which shows something about Randall were words like reprieved and ransom. When words like reprieved and fansom are used in piece of work that includes a person dying of health reasons,

  2. The Sonnet

    The sonnet 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge' was written in September, 1802 by Wordsworth (1770 - 1850). It describes the two different views, the 'country scene' and the 'heart of the city' which could be seen from Westminster Bridge in those days.

  1. An examination of the sonnet from Petrarch to Browning.

    The third quatrain is an expansion of the argument by asking a rhetorical question, and finally, the rhyming couplet concludes, undermines, and basically finishes the sonnet. The first thing that I spotted about the movement is how it connects to the subject of the sonnet.

  2. Explore aspects of the sonnet tradition through reference to a range of material you ...

    and this is also true of the repetitive nature in which Browning uses. " I love thee to the depth and breadth and height" (How do I love thee? line 2) In the last few lines she describes her love as fully as possible and pledges her life to him.

  1. Compare the ways in which the poets express strength of feeling in "Spring" and ...

    Man will overcome Death. When a person has a fatal accident, it is the fault and chance of man, not the decision of Death. Death can often be man's decision anyway! When a person commits suicide, it is his or her own resolution to do so, not Death's.

  2. Analysis of Sheakespeare's Sonnet 73 "That time of year thou mayst in me behold"

    His quickly diminishing life lays on top of the ?Ashes of his youth?(10). It compares this pile of ashes in a simile to a death-bed; although in this case it is not just a bed he is dying on but also the actual source of death itself.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work