Analysis of Two of the Best Williams Shakespeare's Work

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Known as the leader in classical poetry and drama, English writer William Shakespeare, captures the passion and emotions that the romance and depths of the human heart experiences in life. This is especially shown in his vast collection of sonnets which exemplified the “carpe diem” ideology of the period, and the love that one can have for another. Two of the most famous of Shakespeare’s works, Sonnet 55 [Not Marble, nor the gilded monuments] and sonnet 116 [Let me not to the marriage of true minds], are no exception to this theme in poetry. Both of these sonnets exemplify the love that the narrator has for a mistress in his life, and how he defines his love for them. Throughout both poems, Shakespeare conveys his purpose through the content, the overall theme of love and its permanence, and the form and structure in which the sonnets are written that can sometimes break the traditional rules.

The thematic portion of Sonnet 55 describes the love that the narrator has for his mistress and how through his poetry she will be immortalized. In line one and two the narrator describes the symbolic value of the grand monuments and rulers of the period, which were held to the highest reverence. This is an allusion to the tombs of the wealthy class and religious monuments of the time that often were embellished gold-plated accents. This emphasizes the high reverence the narrator is putting his lover in; along with line two, in which he states that even the ruling princes shall not outlive the powerful rhyme of his poem (“Sonnet LV”). The poet states that the person of interest will “shine more bright in these contents (Mays 892)” in line three, elaborating on the theme of undying admiration. Shakespeare is bold even in the first three li...

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...e, both figuratively and physically through the poems that the narrator wrote for his mistresses. In both pieces Shakespeare was able to immortalize his narrator’s love for his mistresses through the use of language, word choice, and literary devices.

Works Cited

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Mays, Kelly. The Norton Introduction to Literature. 11.

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Nelson, Jeffery, and Andrew Cling. "Love's logic lost: The

Couplet of Shakespeare's Sonnet 116." ANQ. 13.3 (2000): 14-19. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.

"Sonnet CXVI." Shakespeare. Oxquarry Books, n.d. Web. 12 Mar.

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