An Analysis of Shakespears "Sonnet 106"

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Analysis of Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 106”

-Oscar Wilde

The original sonnets were written by Francesco Petrarca in Italy. The word sonnet comes from the Italian word sonetto meaning “little song”. The Italian sonnet is made out 14 verses that are split into two parts. The first eight lines, called the octave, describe the problem while the six last lines, sestet, provides the solution. This form is different than English sonnets such as Shakespeare “Sonnet 106”.  English sonnets still have 14 verses but they instead have three quatrains and one rhyming couplet. The first part, like the Italian sonnet, presents the problem. The second and third part complicated this situation further. Then the last part, the rhyming couplet, resolves the presented problem usually in a way that makes it a paradox. Sonnets are written in a strict rhyming and meter scheme. Iambic pentameter is used as a device in writing sonnets. This means that each line has ten syllables that alternate from hard to soft tones. The rhyming scheme for English sonnets is abab cdcd efef and gg for the rhyming couplet. We will be taking a look on Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 106”. Shakespeare’s sonnets are much different from Francesco Petrarca’s sonnets. Petrarca’s sonnets are about love and beauty while Shakespeare’s sonnets are mocking all the clichés of the same thing.

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Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 106” is a very beautiful sonnet about a lady. What I am assuming is a young man is telling this girl that her beauty is beyond description. He tells her all the writers before him, had premonitions about her and that’s why you can find her beauty described in history books.  The best lines, in my opinion, is “I see their antique pen would have express'd even such a beauty as you master now”. I think this line really sums up what Shakespeare is trying to express in the sonnet. I love that even though Shakespeare’s sonnets are ...

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