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Sonnets: The Power of Love

Powerful Essays
Sonnets: The Power of Love

The majority of Elizabethan sonnets reflect two major themes: time and love. William Shakespeare, too, followed this convention, producing 154 sonnets, many of which deal with the usual theme of love. Because the concept of love is in itself so immense, Shakespeare found several ways to capture the essence of his passion. Therefore, in his poetry he explored various methods and used them to describe the emotions associated with his love for a mysterious "dark lady." These various ideas and views resulted in a series of sonnets that vibrantly depicts his feelings of true, undying love for his lady. Instead of making the topic less interesting, as some might expect, Shakespeare's myriad approaches serve to further the reader's knowledge about the sheer power of true love. Three of Shakespeare's methods that show his ability in this respect are the motif of dreams and thoughts, the examples of the extent of love, and Shakespeare's desire for his sonnets to aid or glorify their love.

In many of Shakespeare's sonnets, he frequently mentions the continuous presence of a special lady in his dreams and thoughts. For example, in Sonnet 27, Shakespeare writes about the fact that he is never without his love. This is because during the day he worships her at sight, and at night she invades his dreams. He cannot sleep without her coming, unbidden, into his mind: "Lo, thus by day my limbs, by night my mind/ For thee, and for myself, no quiet find." Contrary to this thought, however, his constant musings of his lady are also a blessing to him. In Sonnet 29, Shakespeare, depressed and envious of others, thinks of his love: "Yet, in these thoughts myself almost despising,/ Haply I think on thee, a...

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...that time I do ensconce me here/ Within the knowledge of mine own desert." If he should ever have to live without her, his sonnets will remind him of the love that once was.

Shakespeare's sonnets are a romantic and charming series of poems. His use of rhyme and passionate, eloquent language serve to illuminate his strong feelings. These techniques were probably the most fluent way for such a writer as him to express the immeasurable love that he obviously felt for his mysterious lady. Examining the numerous ways Shakespeare found to describe it, the reader believes that this love was undoubtedly lasting and authentic. He often made heart-felt comments about his emotions that could also suit lovers in the present day. Because of this, and the fact that people read them yet, Shakespeare's sonnets are timeless and universal, just like the concept of love itself.
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