Whether we realize it or not, we often give overlook the faults in the people who are dear to us. We focus on their good qualities and ignore the bad. This practice is not unique to our culture nor is it unique to our era. Shakespeare in his sonnet numbered 53, compares all beauty to his friend, and criticizes for trying to be as good as his friend. He does this by seemingly comparing his friend to things of beauty when in reality he is suggesting that his friend is the ideal and the beautiful things are merely copies or reflections of the friend.
In choosing the words to describe the person in this sonnet, Shakespeare grabs hold of "what is loveliest in the world at large,"1 In the first two lines, Shakespeare asks what his friend is made of: "What is your substance, whereof are you made, /That millions of strange shadows on you tend?"2 Here he is asking how it is that shadows not produced by the person can be seen on him. He continues to elaborate on this question with the suggestion of his friend's indistinctness "as though he were a versatile actor whose true self were never disclosed."3 He writes: "Since every one hath, every one, one shade, /And you, but one, can every shadow lend."4 The friend does not have a single shadow
as others do but in spite of being a single person, reflects the image of everything that is beautiful. The poet plays with words when he writes "every one hath, every one, one shade."5 He is not emphasizing the word "one" but is using it to suggest the complexity of his subject and to imply that "one is, or may be, more and other than one"6 because this is how the friend seems to him.
The next two lines of the sonnet tell how the revered Adonis i...
... middle of paper ...
...oble, 1968) 130.
2 William Shakespeare, Sonnet 53 The Sonnets (Waltham, Massachusetts: Blaisdell, 1968) 55.
3 Winny 130.
4 Shakespeare 55.
5 Shakespeare 55.
6 Shakespeare 55.
7 Shakespeare 55.
8 Winny 132.
9 Winny 131.
10 Shakespeare 55.
11 Shakespeare 55.
12 Shakespeare 55.
13 G. Wilson Knight, The Mutual Flame: on Shakespeare's Sonnets and The Phoenix and the Turtle (London: Methuen, 1955) 118.
Alpers, Paul J. ed. Elizabethan Poetry: Modern Essays in Criticism. New York: Oxford UP, 1967.
Knight, G. Wilson. The Mutual Flame: on Shakespeare's Sonnets andThe Phoenix and the Turtle. London: Methuen, 1955.
Shakespeare, William. Sonnet 53 The Sonnets. Waltham, MA: Blaisdell, 1968.
Winny, James. The Master-Mistress: A Study of Shakespeare's Sonnets. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1968.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Tension between Beauty and Virtue in Shakespeare's Sonnet 95 "Sonnet 95" of Shakespeare's "blond young man" sonnets depicts a tension-filled variation on the classic blazon. The poet seems torn between the "shame" (1) that taints his subject and the "sweets" (4) of the subject 's beauty. The initial imagery of a "canker" (2) within a "rose" (2) serves to set up the sexual overtones that dominate the poem, as well as to create the sense of strain between disapproval and attraction that heightens throughout each quatrain.... [tags: Shaksespeare Sonnet essays]
1129 words (3.2 pages)
- The concept of beauty during the Middle Ages consisted of the idea that beauty was directly correlated to spirituality. In other words, a person was judged as either good or bad based on their outer appearance, as well as their standing in society. Therefore, executions of beauty manifested in the arts was limited to only a certain class of individuals and was more determined by what a person’s status was in society. In addition, artwork of people was made to be mostly concentrated on the countenance, with artificially smooth skin, intentionally showing no sign of blemish or flaw unless by accident.... [tags: Renaissance, Middle Ages, Florence, Italy]
1157 words (3.3 pages)
- Shakespeare's Exploration in Sonnet 2 of the Themes of Age and Beauty · Look closely at effects of language, imagery and handling of the sonnet form. * Comment on ways in which the poem’s methods and concerns are characteristic of other Shakespeare sonnets you have studied. The second of Shakespeare’s sonnets conveys an argument the poet is making somewhat implicitly to a subject whose identity is hazy and unknown to the reader, even in retrospect. The simplified argument is an attempt by Shakespeare to persuade his subject to produce an heir and therefore retain his beauty through his child, to avoid wasting such beauty.... [tags: Papers]
1466 words (4.2 pages)
- In Sir Philip Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella Sonnet 20 and William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130, both are talking about love. Love in a romantic relationship, yet they seem very different from each other. Sir Philip Sidney’s is the traditional Petrarchan sonnet and Shakespeare’s have his own style of sonnet. Take a side on the type of sonnets, the two sonnets shares some more differences. The love object in Astrophil and Stella Sonnet 20 and Sonnet 130 by Shakespeare are very unlike, the former one fits all the conventional beauty and the latter one is opposite; the treatment of love is different as well, Sir Philip Sidney illustrate it in a violence way and Shakespeare describe it in a more co... [tags: beauty and love]
1465 words (4.2 pages)
- Shakespeare’s Sonnets is a collection of poems, which portray themes such as the nature of time, love, beauty and mortality. Among Shakespeare’s 154 pieces of fine poetry, Sonnets 1, 18, 60 and 146 stand out the most, attracting the attention of many critics. Shakespeare’s ability to summarize human emotions in a simple yet an eloquent manner through his verse, his powerful use of language, his large variety of metaphorical themes and his strong description of the characters and nature makes his sonnets unique and exceptional.... [tags: Poetry, Beauty, Human physical appearance]
1322 words (3.8 pages)
- “Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”- Kahlil Gibran. I am going to compare and contrast between “Sonnet 130”, by William Shakespeare and “The Harlem Dancer”, by Claude McKay. Both poems and sonnets are English and have fourteen lines or stanzas, and the rhyme scheme of ABABCDCDEFEFGG, which points out beauty in women. A sonnet is a fixed patterned poem that expresses a single, complete thought or idea. Sonnet comes from the Italian word “sonetto”, which means “little song”.... [tags: poetry, women, beauty]
603 words (1.7 pages)
- Petrarchan sonnets are like all the other typical sonnets in the early sixteenth which consist of 14 verses in the poem and 10 syllables per line. In comparison, they all instigate the traditional theme of love where women were admired and sometimes worshipped in order to express deep love that emissaries her beauty. However, Petrarchan sonnet could not said be too congruent to sixteenth style of writing sonnets. Nevertheless, they share identical theme in the sonnets which is the traditional theme of love where Petrarchan sonnets uses clichés in order to describe his mistress as “lucid gold” and her smile as “angelic smile”.... [tags: Sonnet 130, sonnet 14]
1338 words (3.8 pages)
- William Shakespeare’s sonnets are renowned as some of the greatest poetry ever written. He wrote a total of 154 sonnets that were published in 1609. Shakespearean sonnets consider similar themes including love, beauty, and the passing of time. In particular, William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 75 and Sonnet 116 portray the theme of love through aspects of their form and their display of metaphors and similes. While both of these sonnets depict the theme of love, they have significantly contrasting ideas about the same theme.... [tags: Iambic pentameter, Poetry, Sonnet, Love]
1314 words (3.8 pages)
- Keeping love alive is not easy. One knows that life eventually comes to an end, but does love. Time passes and days must end. It is in "Sonnet 18", by Shakespeare, that we see a challenge to the idea that love is finite. Shakespeare shows us how some love is eternal and will live on forever in comparison to a beautiful summer's day. Shakespeare has a way of keeping love alive in "Sonnet 18", and he uses a variety of techniques to demonstrate how love is more brilliant and everlasting than a summer's day.... [tags: Shakespeare Sonnet]
935 words (2.7 pages)
- The Sonnet Form and its Meaning: Shakespeare Sonnet 65 The sonnet, being one of the most traditional and recognized forms of poetry, has been used and altered in many time periods by writers to convey different messages to the audience. The strict constraints of the form have often been used to parallel the subject in the poem. Many times, the first three quatrains introduce the subject and build on one another, showing progression in the poem. The final couplet brings closure to the poem by bringing the main ideas together.... [tags: William Shakespeare Sonnet 65 Essays]
1853 words (5.3 pages)
- Free College Essays - Salinger's Style in Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters
- Comparing the Hero in Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut and A Perfect Day for Bananafish
- Dehumanization in Night by Elie Wiesel
- Free College Essays - Eliezer Wiesel's Night
- Free College Essays - Loss of Faith in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown
- Humanity, Holocaust and Night