Love's Legality in Shakespeare´s Sonnets Essay

Love's Legality in Shakespeare´s Sonnets Essay

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In most of the sonnets from around Shakespeare's era, love is a common theme. Written is a standard Shakespearean form, the rhyme scheme nor the meter deviate from the typical sonnet structure; although the form does not differ much, the central meaning and approach to love does. While the majority of sonnets speak of love for someone else, in sonnet 116 Shakespeare describes the truth of love between a couple. In 'Let me not to the Marriage of True Minds' Shakespeare utilizes legal terms to support their right to marriage and backs up his argument by employing solid metaphors regarding their love. In doing so, he allows the reader to be the judge, jury, and executioner and decide the fate of the couple in the poem.
While many sonnets employ the use of metaphors, the tone of Sonnet 116 is unique because it resembles that of an opening statement in a legal argument. First off, when the speaker says, "Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments," (1-2) he opens up his argument by stating his stance. He believes that no true lovers should be left unwed. In doing so, he reminds the reader or possible jury that the couple in the poem deserve to marry each other. He catches the reader's attention when he exclaims, "Oh no!" (5). This links the description of what a fake love is and a metaphor for their love. In doing so, he strengthens the contrast between their love and the false love. As any good lawyer would do, Shakespeare ends the sonnet with a persuasive closing statement. The final couplet ends his argument and is the final support for the couple. He concludes his defense of the lovers by saying, "If this be error, and upon me proved/Then I never writ, nor no man ever loved" (13-14). His ending reinforces how thei...


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...show that their love has not changed in the past and will not change in the future.
In summary, while Sonnet 116 is like most sonnets because it describes love, the speaker argues for a specific love, the love of an unmarried couple. Incorporating metaphors into his writing, the speaker strengthens his case by providing evidence for their love. Over the course of his argument he contrasts false love with the real love of a couple. Ending with a typical rhyming couplet, he delivers an ultimate truth about the strength and truth of the couple's love. When Shakespeare attempts to explain the love of a couple, he takes a legal tone, using metaphors along the way to support his point. Ultimately he leaves the decision of whether the couple's love is legal up to the reader to allow them to question the truth of love and what separates it from a false love based on lust.

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