Shakespeare 's Sonnet As A Love Poem, But Is It? Essay example

Shakespeare 's Sonnet As A Love Poem, But Is It? Essay example

Length: 1082 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Shakespeare’s Sonnet Eighteen is normally regarded as a love poem, but is it? While the speaker is comparing his lover to a summer’s day in Sonnet Eighteen, Shakespeare’s speaker argues that his verse will allow his love to be immortalized, while even the most beautiful of summer days can fade into night. It initially seems that his subject’s beauty will be everlasting, though the speaker then reveals that only his own writing will stand the test of time. Evidence of Shakespeare writing this poem for the purpose of praising himself occurs throughout the entirety of the poem. In the first line, for example, his use of ‘I’ is emphasized by the rhythmic structure whereas the word ‘thee’ is not. This suggests that Shakespeare meant to focus on himself rather than his subject. Likewise, in the third quatrain, he personifies death and states that it will not ‘brag’ to power over the subject. This could be interpreted as Shakespeare stating that he will be the one who brags rather than death. By acknowledging that on the stylized aspects his subject’s beauty that can be captured in verse will survive, and not the earthly beauty suggested by the summer’s day, the speaker suggests that he values his own poetic powers more than the actual beauty of his subject.
Sonnet Eighteen is written in iambic pentameter form using the succession of alternating stressed syllables in which the first is unstressed and the second is stressed. The use of ‘penta’ before ‘meter’ shows that there are 5 iambs per line. These stresses are used to embody meaning. Therefore, when Shakespeare breaks from iambic meter and has two or more stresses fall together, he adds variety and emphasis. This change in the regularity of the rhythm adds force to descriptions a...


... middle of paper ...


...d enduring that it cannot be adversely affected by time and age. This beauty can even conquer death as long as there are people to read this poem.
Like much of this work, Shakespeare uses Sonnet Eighteen to express the speaker’s self through the use of language. This is a poem about the power of the written word over death, fate, and even love. He boasts that his work will be eternal and gives the appearance to the reader that he is much more into himself and his poetry than the beloved he is addressing. This poem should not be regard as a love poem because Shakespeare spends his time drawing the attention upon himself instead of detailing the description of his beloved’s beauty, “Ars longa, vita breve (Art is long, life is brief)” becomes the underlying theme, arrayed in Shakespeare’s poetic language. If Sonnet Eighteen is a love poem, it is merely to itself.




Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Shakespeare 's Sonnet As A Love Poem, But Is It? Essay example

- Shakespeare’s Sonnet Eighteen is normally regarded as a love poem, but is it. While the speaker is comparing his lover to a summer’s day in Sonnet Eighteen, Shakespeare’s speaker argues that his verse will allow his love to be immortalized, while even the most beautiful of summer days can fade into night. It initially seems that his subject’s beauty will be everlasting, though the speaker then reveals that only his own writing will stand the test of time. Evidence of Shakespeare writing this poem for the purpose of praising himself occurs throughout the entirety of the poem....   [tags: Poetry, Iambic pentameter, Iamb, Poetic form]

Better Essays
1082 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on The Significance and Involvedness of Sonnet 130

- Many refer to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” as the ultimate English love poem (Shakespeare). This sonnet is of the typical form and compares the beauty of a person to a summer’s day. However, Shakespeare’s unique Sonnet 130 is debatably more significant and insightful. Sonnet 130 “My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun” disregards the typical placement of the “volta” in a sonnet, describes an arguably more genuine love, and derides common love poetry of the 1600s....   [tags: shakespeare, english love poem]

Better Essays
593 words (1.7 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Sonnet 130 Essay

- In his "Sonnet 130," William Shakespeare presents an uncommon variation on the staple Elizabethan era love poem. While sonnets on the subject of love typically presented a problem which would be solved through the poet 's skills of rhetoric, in "Sonnet 130" Shakespeare creates a unique satirical love poem which eschews the common idealistic comparisons on a woman 's beauty in favor of a photographic accuracy. The poem 's final rhyming couplet makes it clear that the author 's intentions are to depict realistic and not idealistic beauty....   [tags: Poetry, Love, Rhyme, Sonnet]

Better Essays
1092 words (3.1 pages)

A Critical Comparison of Shakespeare's "Sonnet 130" and Elizabeth Barrett-Browning's "Sonnet 14"

- 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]

Better Essays
1338 words (3.8 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Sonnet 130 Essay

- Shakespeare’s sonnet 130 is a sonnet much different than the normal love sonnets of that time. A well-known re-occurring them in Shakespeare’s sonnets is love. Shakespeare’s sonnet 130 can be interpreted many different ways. Sonnet 130 describes what love is to Shakespeare by making the poem a joke in order to mock other poets. In sonnet 130, Shakespeare spoke of a courtly love. Shakespeare goes against the usual style of courtly love writing in this sonnet. “In comparison to Petrarch’s Sonnet 90 and Shakespeare’s own Sonnets 18 and 20, Sonnet 130 is a parody of courtly love, favoring a pastoral love that is austere in its declaration, yet deep-rooted in sincerity” (Dr....   [tags: Sonnet, Poetry, Iambic pentameter, Meter]

Better Essays
1351 words (3.9 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Sonnet 130 Essays

- Although many people find flaws in others, there always comes a time where one seems to let go of these imperfections and replace the defects with love Sonnet 130 is a unique love poem in which William Shakespeare describes the women he claims to love, in many critical ways. Although the first twelve lines describe the women to be distasteful and vile, the last two lines create a shift in which Shakespeare explains that despite her unsavory ways, he still loves her. Shakespeare illustrates that there is not a perfect person in the world, but that one day everyone will be able to find someone who will look past their faults and love them the way they are....   [tags: Poetry, Sonnet, Iambic pentameter, Poetic form]

Better Essays
1050 words (3 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Sonnet 18 Essay

- William Shakespeare was arguably the greatest poet of all time, let alone of the renaissance period, and he certainly knew how brilliantly clever he was. Shakespeare wrote many sonnets which ultimately were callous towards their subjects. In addition to them being callous he also expertly used the final couplet to make him seem like he was a great poet whose writing was sheer awesome in the truest sense of the term, or to brag on his abilities in any way. Many, many of his sonnets show evidence of this trait....   [tags: Shakespeare's sonnets, Love, Poetry, Sonnet]

Better Essays
1334 words (3.8 pages)

Essay Love in Shakespeare's Sonnet 138

- The Philosophy of Love in Sonnet 138                     Shakespeare was a superb philosopher, but in his sonnets, he was a philosopher of love.  Shakespeare sets forth the experiences of love and its torments fully within his sonnets.  The philosophy of love is that, love reconciles all.  Love is the evil and the good, the lies and the truth.  Love is all there is. It passion as well as deception and lies. "Sonnet 138", is a notable example of Shakespeare's philosophy of love.  Written as a dramatic monologue, this sonnet (also known as "song") is a lyric.  Like all sonnets, there are fourteen lines, with every four lines written as quatrains in a b a b format.  The last two lines are kn...   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Better Essays
712 words (2 pages)

William Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 Essay examples

- 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]

Better Essays
935 words (2.7 pages)

Egotism and Love in Shakespeare's Sonnet 42 Essay

- Egotism and Love in Shakespeare's Sonnet 42      William Shakespeare's sonnets deal with two very distinct individuals: the blond young man and the mysterious dark-haired woman. The young man is the focus of the earlier numbered sonnets while the latter ones deal primarily with the dark-haired woman. The character of the young man and a seductive mistress are brought together under passionate circumstances in Shakespeare's "Sonnet 42." The sexual prowess of the mistress entangles both Shakespeare and the young man in her web of flesh....   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Better Essays
1250 words (3.6 pages)