Lust in Sonnet CXXIX (129) Essays

Lust in Sonnet CXXIX (129) Essays

Length: 2027 words (5.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Lust in Sonnet CXXIX (129)


A Savage Action Full of Blame - The essences of pure lust and its’ dark side. That is, in a word, what Shakespeare in his Sonnet CXXIX1 describes. His language is full of anger, frustration and self-blaming. A real, emotional, affected language - no flourishes. Shakespeare doesn't write about eternal love, the beauties of a woman or spiritual relations - all themes which we might expect from a classical sonnets. No - he talks about lust and the feeling of being dominated and helpless. And even a certain kind of vicious circle is strongly reflected in his choice of word and the atmosphere of the poem.

            If we first take a brief look at the formal aspects of Shakespeare's Sonnet, we detect rather easily that it is presented in a very traditional way. Besides the classical end-rhyme scheme, we find a lot of examples ( e.g. line 11) of alliteration, which give the poem a very harmonic and smooth tone. But in analysing the formal aspects, there is a far more interesting and important point. The syntax of the poem already tell us a lot, especially about the word lust (l.2). In twelve of fourteen lines lust is the subject. To put it in another way, we can say that almost the whole poem is subjected - in the sense of being dominated, ruled by something - to lust.

            This fact concerning the syntax, leads us to the first step of interpretation, namely the characteristics of lust. It seems, in accordance with the poem, that lust is something strong, domineering and  taking possession. But not only the syntax of the first sentence leads us to such a definition of lust; the words - or in general: the  language - in the poem speaks for itself:

"...and till action, lust
Is pe...


... middle of paper ...


...d, one strongly feels the obsession, the madness and the extreme, because his language clearly reflects these ideas, too. And also Shakespeare's impressing use of obvious and hidden dualistic expressions, makes the reader part of his vicious circle. I think Shakespeare manages to present us a very apt - and also very beautiful - description of lust: The essence of the dark side of lust built up by helplessness, anger , frustration and the knowing that this vicious circle of attraction and domination will never end.          

Works Cited

1 Shakespeare, William: Sonnet CXXIX, Norton Anthology of Poetry, fourth edition, London, p. 240

1 Marquis de Sade (1710 - 1814) : French writer who, with the ideas of his literary works, coined the expression 'sadism'

2 taken from the lecture "Poetic Movements" from Martin Heusser at University of Zurich, 3.5.2000

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Lust and the Degeneration of Man Exposed in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129 Essay

- Lust and the Degeneration of Man Exposed in Shakespeare’s 129th Sonnet  Love in its purest form is the most unsurpassable of all emotions, requiring intense commitment, while simultaneously providing incomparable bliss. However, often the intense desire for these feelings produces a new emotion, lust, with a craving that gives priority to obtaining an objectified person, as opposed to a very real human. Lust can be further practically defined as the inability to place selfless love on a higher pedestal than selfish desire....   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Powerful Essays
2246 words (6.4 pages)

Essay on Lust and Love in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 and Campion’s There is a Garden

- Lust and Love in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 and Campion’s There is a Garden in Her Face      When a comparison is made between There is a Garden in Her Face by Thomas Campion and Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare, the difference between lustful adoration and true love becomes evident. Both poems involve descriptions of a beloved lady seen through the eyes of the speaker, but the speaker in Campion's poem discusses the woman's beautiful perfections, while the speaker in Shakespeare's poem shows that it is the woman's faults which make her beautiful....   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Powerful Essays
855 words (2.4 pages)

Sonnet XX, by William Shakespeare Essay

- Sonnet XX, by William Shakespeare, is fraught with wordplay and ambiguity. Shakespeare misleads the audience with variety of puns and double entendres. Due to the large amount of criticism this poem produces, it is necessary to analyze this piece twice: once from the perspective of a female attraction, and once from the perspective of a male attraction. Only when both sides of this equilibrium are examined can true insight be achieved. It is my goal to present the same mystifying experiences as Shakespeare: the initial debate as to whether this fair youth is male or female, and the ultimate debate as to whether our narrator’s intense fondness for this youth is the result of platonic love o...   [tags: Sonnet XX Essays]

Powerful Essays
1482 words (4.2 pages)

Analysis of Lust, by Susan Minot Essay

- "They turn casually to look at you, distracted, and get a mild distracted surprise, you're gone. Their blank look tells you that the girl they were fucking is not there anymore. You seem to have disappeared.(pg.263)" In Minot's story Lust you are play by play given the sequential events of a fifteen year old girls sex life. As portrayed by her thoughts after sex in this passage the girl is overly casual about the act of sex and years ahead of her time in her awareness of her actions. Minot's unique way of revealing to the reader the wild excursions done by this young promiscuous adolescent proves that she devalues the sacred act of sex....   [tags: Lust Essays]

Powerful Essays
661 words (1.9 pages)

Free Essays On Shakespeare's Sonnet 153

- Analysis of Sonnet 153 Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep. A maid of Dian's this advantage found, And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep In a cold valley-fountain of that ground; Which borrow'd from this holy fire of Love A dateless lively heat, still to endure, And grew a seething bath which men yet prove Against strange maladies a sovereign cure. But at my mistress' eye Love's brand new fir'd, The boy for trial needs would touch my breast. I, sick withal, the help of bath desir'd, And thither hied, a sad distemper'd guest; But found no cure: the bath for my help lies Where Cupid got new fire-my mistress' eyes....   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Free Essays
437 words (1.2 pages)

Dissolution Versus Debauchery in Sonnet 96 Essay

- Dissolution Versus Debauchery in Sonnet 96       The sonnets of William Shakespeare chronicle the conflicts of love and lust between the blond young man and the dark-haired lady. In Sonnet 96, Shakespeare acts as an apologist on behalf of the blond young man as he concludes his discourse on the young man's character." Here the poet presents a picture of the young man as a misguided youth caught up in youthful indiscretion, rather than a rapacious beast prowling for prey. Shakespeare illustrates the inherent differences between dissolution and debauchery as he declares that upon first glance all is not as it appears; therefore, the young man's character must be examined in greater...   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Powerful Essays
922 words (2.6 pages)

Free College Essays - Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 75

- Analysis of Sonnet 75 SONNET 75 So are you to my thoughts as food to life, Or as sweet-season'd showers are to the ground; And for the peace of you I hold such strife As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found; Now proud as an enjoyer and anon Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure, Now counting best to be with you alone, Then better'd that the world may see my pleasure; Sometime all full with feasting on your sight And by and by clean starved for a look; Possessing or pursuing no delight, Save what is had or must from you be took....   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Free Essays
948 words (2.7 pages)

Love in Shakespeare's Sonnet 128 and Gibran's The Prophet Essay

- Love in Shakespeare's Sonnet 128 and Gibran's The Prophet        William Shakespeare's "Sonnet 128" suggests a rather playful and sensual approach to love, while an excerpt on love and marriage from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet has a didactic and intellectual tone. Shakespeare revels in lustful possession of his lover, but Gibran advises leaving space between partners in their relationship.   Well-endowed with imagery, Shakespeare's sonnet evokes the vision of a woman swaying back and forth playing a spinet, and the poet sitting back smiling and enjoying her movements, aroused by her music and charm....   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Powerful Essays
1807 words (5.2 pages)

Physicality and Emotional Attachment in Shakespeare's Sonnet 46 Essay

- Physicality and Emotional Attachment in Shakespeare's Sonnet 46      In "Sonnet 46" of his works about the blond young man, William Shakespeare presents a unique view on the classic debate about physical lust versus emotional love. The poet struggles to decide if his feelings are based upon superficial desire and infatuation, represented by the "eye" (1), or true love independent of the physical world, symbolized by the "heart" (1). With a deft movement from violent imagery in the first two lines to the civilized language of law, Shakespeare dismisses the commonly accepted view of a battle between the eye and the heart.  The diction of warfare denotes two very separate alien side...   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Powerful Essays
1099 words (3.1 pages)

The Power of the Sonnet Essay

- The Power of the Sonnet Sonnet 30 tells us that the speaker is a person who has long been stoic, whose tears have for a long time been unused to flow. In the situation sketched in the poem, he begins by deliberately and habitually making these tears flow again; he willingly--for the sake of an enlivened emotional selfhood--calls up the griefs of the past. In receding order, before the weeping "now", there was the "recent" dry-eyed stoicism; "before that," the frequent be-moanèd moan of repeated grief; "further back in the past," the original loss so often mourned; and "in the remote past", a time of achieved happiness, or at lea...   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Free Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)