Analysis Of Sonnet Eighteen

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Shakespeare’s Sonnet Eighteen is regarded as a love poem, but is it? Initially, it seems that Shakespeare’s subject’s beauty will be everlasting, though the speaker then reveals that only his writing will stand the test of time. Evidence of Shakespeare writing this poem to praise himself occurs throughout the entire poem. In the third quatrain, he personifies death and states that death will not ‘brag’ to power over the subject. By acknowledging that only the stylized aspects of his subject’s beauty that can be captured in verse will survive, not the earthly beauty suggested by the summer’s day, the speaker suggests that he values his own poetic powers more than the actual beauty of his subject. Sonnet Eighteen is written in iambic pentameter form using the succession of alternating stressed syllables in which the first is unstressed and the second is stressed. These stresses are used to embody meaning. Therefore, when Shakespeare breaks from iambic meter, he adds variety and emphasis. This change in the regularity of the rhythm adds force to descriptions and draws attention. In Sonnet Eighteen, a change is marked with the use of the word ‘but’ at the beginning of the third quatrain. The final couplet does not simply affirm or contradict the speaker’s main idea, but extends it: the subject is indeed everlastingly young and beautiful, but only if Sonnet Eighteen lives on. Sonnet Eighteen deals with issues…show more content…
This is a poem about the power of the written word over death, fate, and even love. This poem should not be regarded as a love poem because Shakespeare spends his time drawing the attention upon himself instead of detailing the description of his beloved’s beauty, “Ars longa, vita breve (Art is long, life is brief)” becomes the underlying theme, arrayed in Shakespeare’s poetic language. If Sonnet Eighteen is a love poem, it is merely to
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