Structure And Theme Of William Shakespeare 's Sonnet 116 Essay

Structure And Theme Of William Shakespeare 's Sonnet 116 Essay

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Structure and theme can hardly exist without the other in sonnet writing. Poets utilize (or, in some cases, do not utilize) the form of sonnets to make statements and further the effectiveness of their writing. Rhyme scheme, meter, and all structural elements become the metaphorical blocks for which compelling topics stand on. Although what the writer attempts to get across carries great importance, as does the form these words take on. Form, therefore, must contribute to the themes in different, but still necessary, ways. Although both Wroth’s [‘In this strange labrynith’] and Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 116’ utilize relatively similar forms to contribute to their thematic statements, the views on the longevity and idealization of love are fundamentally different. Hence, it can be argued that poets, no matter what topic they write on, must concern themselves with not only the message they are trying to get across, but also the way they choose to present it.

In Shakespeare’s sonnet, the speaker describes an idealized form of love; the sort of love capable of transcending the boundaries of what is possible and what is not. That sort of timeless affection, defined as ‘an ever-fixed mark,’ (5) and not as ‘Time’s fool,’ (9) is manifested into a celestial and even physical force, able to withstand obstacles, no matter the challenges. Even time itself does not stand a chance. The references to nature, comparing love to ‘the star to every wandering bark’, the North Star, depicts love as an essential guiding force in people’s lives and as a constant, not constricted by the regular confines of place or time. The speaker mentions how love lasts ‘even to the edge of doom,’ (12) using extreme word choice, ‘doom,’ to purposefully highlight the ‘...


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...ell, as the speaker takes ‘the thread of love’ (14) and effectively closes the storyline created by the poem, because the sonnet is part of a Crown, we know that the ending is essentially just the beginning. Nonetheless, the action of the speaker moving, a verb, towards love conveys a concrete image of a choice being made and, although

As well, the two texts contain a variety of both end-stop and enjambment sentence structure. Shakespeare uses the first two lines’ enjambment (‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds/ admit impediments’ (1)) strategically, placing ‘impediments’ on an entirely different line. The speaker does not even allow the suggestion of obstruction until the second line, making the first seem that much more meaningful. Wroth’s usage of end-stop sentences creates separation between the speaker’s thoughts, using semi-colons to isolate the lines.

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