Essay about Emotional Versus Physical: The Struggle in Words

Essay about Emotional Versus Physical: The Struggle in Words

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Known as one of the most influential and important English Renaissance authors, William Shakespeare paved the path for sonnet writers and modern poets. Shakespeare is the author of 37 plays and 154 sonnets. Each sonnet deals with personal themes and can work collectively as a story or individually. The first 126 of the sonnets are addressed to a young nobleman, while the rest are addressed to a woman known as the ‘dark lady’. In Sonnet 27, the narrator has returned from a long journey, tired, but unable to sleep, because he is plagued with thoughts about his relationship and visions of the subject. Although there is much mystery surrounding Shakespeare’s sonnets, through figurative language, historical context, and collective comparison, it becomes clear that Shakespeare is having an internal conflict between his physical wants and his emotional needs.
The figurative language reinforces the internal conflict through comparison of meanings and word pairings. Certain words can be a more thoughtful and descriptive explanation in place or the average terms used. In lines 5 and 6, Shakespeare states, “For then my thoughts (from far where I abide) / Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee.” Pilgrimages are serious and extensive travels used to show loyalty and devotion to a religion or a god and would hold more importance than simply calling the trip a journey. The comparison of his thoughts to a “zealous pilgrimage” (Ln. 6) suggests the idea that his thoughts are a strenuous mental journey equal to a long physical journey with an emotional attachment. This comparison introduces the reader to the struggle and significance of his emotional need for the subject of his thoughts and his physical want to rest. The emotional and physical conflic...


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...s work’s expired” (Ln. 4).The earlier sonnets are an introduction to the struggle and as the sonnets continue, the speakers feelings about each side of the argument is explained more clearly and with experience. Therefore, through a collective comparison, Shakespeare’s internal conflict becomes more apparent in the earlier mentioned Sonnet 27.
Shakespeare’s sonnets are some the most widely analyzed and debated works in Western Literature. Taking a poem at face value with a literal interpretation can belittle the work, so including an exploration of figurative language and multiple definitions will bring about new observations and analyses. Also, if only analyzed as a single piece of literature certain arguments will become invalid, however when all of the sonnets are analyzed as en entity, there will be a wider range of support for what was once an unsound analysis.

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