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

Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 18

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet XVIII Shakespeare is now, and has been for many centuries, viewed as one of the greatest writers of all time. His works are highly renowned around the globe, for both his plays, that have been re-enacted countless times and his vast collection of poetry. Shakespeare's sonnets consist of a collection of 154 were published in 1609. It is not known whether the 1609 publication comprises all the sonnets he wrote but it is likely that it does not. Many of the sonnets are intensely personal, divulging sexual interests and indulgences while others are deeply emotional, disclosing the author's most private feelings and emotions. Sonnet 18 is an example of the latter, and is perhaps the best known and most highly acclaimed of all, despite being quite simplistic in language and intent. The theme is lucid; the stability of love and its power to immortalize poetry through its infinite beauty. The English sonnet is a form of poetry consisting of 14 lines. The rhyming scheme is very complex, yet subtle, whilst allowing a definite flexibility in rhyme. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare uses the weather and the characteristics of the season of summer to illustrate the purpose of the sonnet, and to enforce the emotions that are its inspiration. The poet personifies summer in order to allow the reader to relate to human characteristics: "eye of heaven" with its "gold complexion." This also allows the reader to draw contrasts between the season and the beloved. The use of comparisons and figurative language is done in order to highlight the intensity of the poet's emotions. Having established the characteristics of summer, the poet then elaborately differentiates between the beloved and the summer's day. This enables him to illustrate that although summer is beautiful in certain ways, it has a fickle nature. Unlike his beloved, who has an unchanging and everlasting beauty, and is in fact more beautiful than a perfect summer's day: "Thou art more lovely and more temperate:" The beloved has an ceaseless beauty and becomes an "eternal summer", which will never fade because it is forever embodied in the sonnet: "So long lives this, and this gives life to thee." ...read more.

Conclusion

However, the true muse who inspired so many masterpieces of literature is unknown. In order to understand the true content and meaning of the sonnets, an understanding of why they were written needs to be taken into account. I personally believe that they allowed him to admit his deepest fears and desires; this would explain why so many of them are based on themes that are so personal and in deeply meaningful. Many of his poems are based on the ideals of love and time and sonnet 18 is no exception. This sonnet was written as an answer to such profound joy and beauty, in order to ensure that his most treasured lover is forever in human memory; saved from the ultimate oblivion that is associated with death. William Shakespeare, who is widely acknowledged as the greatest writer of all time fell so deeply and passionately in love with an unknown beauty that he wrote Sonnet 18 in an attempt to keep their memory and most importantly of all their beauty, alive forever. An attempt that in my opinion has succeeded; a view that is supported by the popularity of his work today and the high esteem in which Sonnet 18 is especially held. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Shakespeare's 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 GCSE Shakespeare's Sonnets essays

  1. Compare William Shakespeare’s sonnets 12 and 73, look closely at the language use to ...

    He realises that he cannot 'make defence' against death but only wait for it. 'Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence' this means that only his children shall go on after him once he has passed away, and that this is the only way that he can avoid death.

  2. Critical Analysis of Sonnet 129 by William Shakespeare

    'Bloody' refers to lust's willingness to shed blood to attain its object and also subtly reminds the modern reader that for the Renaissance a mere abundance of blood makes one amorous.

  1. Discuss the effects of the writing in sonnet 63; showing how far and in ...

    This feature shows the relentlessness of the argument as it by including only one full stop within the entire sonnet and therefore not making a break. This shows the speed of time, ever dawning and creeping up on us restlessly illustrating that there is no time to look back and contemplate what you have done in your life.

  2. Examine the literary tradition of sonnet writing with particular reference to the sonnets of ...

    The sun has been personified as it is described as an eye and is therefore given a living quality. Shakespeare also uses heaven as, in some ways, it describes the person as a form of heaven because they are so beautiful.

  1. Discuss the use of sonnets through the ages.

    This is a period of turmoil not only politically but also religiously. As a result of this the sonnets have a wider topic scope and tend to be personal. One of the poets at this time is John Milton. "On his deceased wife", was written by John Milton in the seventeenth century.

  2. The Dark Lady in ShakespeareŒs Sonnets.

    too.13 That there were dark women in the brothels of Clerkwell, near to Shakespeare�s lodgings, seems evident from odd contemporary references.14 G.B. Harrison, followed by Leslie Hotson, in his "Shakespeare Under Elizabeth" (1933) asserts that the Dark Lady was a notorious brothel-keeper of the time.15 She was called Lucy Morgan,

  1. Shakespearian Love Sonnets.

    The first comparison compares the woman that this poem is about to a "summer's day." This comparison is use because both of them are beautiful images, although the woman is even more beautiful. The next use of imagery is: "the eye of heaven," this is a metaphor to the Sun.

  2. Love in Romeo and Juliet and Sonnets 18, 29 and 130.

    The repetition of the word ?state? brings together the two sections of the poem. The structure of ?sonnet 18?, ?sonnet 130? and the prologue of Romeo and Juliet are very similar in the way they portray romantic love. Each text is loosely structured around the style of sonnet developed by Francesco Petrarch from Renaissance Italy.

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