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Sonnet anlysis 116

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Introduction

Pilar Dell'Oro Grade 12 Analysis of Sonnet 116 October 2008 Sonnet 116 is clearly one of the many poems that take part of Shakespeare's 'Quarto'1. From the name, we can therefore not deduce any important information's that could be useful in analyzing it, as it was simply given a number as a title. Yet through first impressions we can immediately notice that all rhyming and iambic pentameter specifications; quatrains, couplets and syllables, are followed and respected to perfection and simplicity. Reading through the beautiful lines of this poem, one immediately notices the ease of the words chosen to express the thoughts of the speaker. What the speaker is saying are his thoughts about love. What love is and what love is not. Reading and rereading, I have to be sincere and say that I agree with what Shakespeare wrote 500 years ago. He divides his thoughts within the quatrains and couplets of his sonnet. In the first quatrain he talks about what love is not; in the second, what love is; and in the third, he talks again about what love is not. ...read more.

Middle

In the second quatrain, we then encounter a fairly easy metaphor to notice which compares the sea, to life. "... an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken..." A person goes through life, just like a ship does through sea. With 'tempests' the speaker refers to obstacles encountered on the way, but as bad weather comes and go's, so do difficulties. As in 'ever-fixed mark' we have to do with a light house, which is fixed and remains in place; just like love. As light houses guide ships through the sea, love guides people through life; the speaker in fact proposes to find your way to navigate through the stars and you will encounter your will, "It is the star to every wandering bark". In line 7 we can also find assonance, the repetition of a vowel; in this case the repetition of "A's" which grab people's attention. Imagery is also very frequent in this poem, "...worth's unknown, although this height be taken." ...read more.

Conclusion

"...bending sickles compass..." with a sickle being a menacing harvesting tool, we can deduce once again that physical beauty can vanish. Giving the imagery of a menacing tool like a 'sickle', we get a very close connection towards death. Love cannot absolutely be measured in "...brief hours and weeks", it is eternal. Going on, "...bears it out even to the edge of doom." To doom it refers to doom's day in which the world will end. The speaker declared that love will last until then end, no matter what. In the final couplet, the speaker gives us the idea of truth in his words. He says that if his statements are proved wrong, he would pronounce to not have written a word. He does also know that, it is impossible to have never loved, so this ensures you that what Shakespeare claims to be his view of love, is actually entirely true. 1 A long time ago, editions were printed in small books called quartos. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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