Essay: Analysis of Sonnet 95

Essay: Analysis of Sonnet 95

Length: 1294 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Analysis of Sonnet 95


How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame

Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose,

Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name!

Oh, in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose!

That tongue that tells the story of thy days,

Making lascivious comments on thy sport,

Cannot dispraise but in a kind of praise.

Naming thy name , blesses an ill report.

Oh what a mansion have those vices got

Which for thy habitation chose out thee,

Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot

And all things turns to fair that eyes can see!

Take heed, dear heart, of this large privelege:

The hardest knife ill used doth lose his edge.


First Quatrain


First of all, spot can mean two things: 'to discover' and also 'to stain'; therefore, the shame that "you" make can both (at the same time) point out the beauty of your name, that is possibly increasing in popularity; also 'to stain' the beauty of "your" name. Knowing this, we must read the poem twice, one for each possible reading (also notice the floral theme in the first stanza as well). Since he describeds "name" as budding, (and the fragrance of a rose as sweet), "in what sweets" can refer to the "name", and then of course, the person themself. Now, question: [first the analogy of canker being the sins; thus, as the canker destroys the rose, this person's sins destroy his name (and remember! only "name" at this point)] which one?


Second Quatrain


"Naming thy name": naming from the stories that have been told about this person, such as rumors. (For instance, not too far from this example, somebody you have never met, but the name is known by you, is regarded as a whore. Whether this rumor is true or not, this idea will be attached to the person who has this name. Same idea here). Line 8, depending on punctuation, can be read one of two ways (more duality!): if there is not punctuation, only a period, then "blesses" is a verb, "naming" is the action of the tongue; therefore, we can read "Naming thy name blesses and ill report" as 'the tongue that names you (rumors, or puts a background to this "name") gives blessings to "an ill report"; (of course, the comments of dispraise against your name).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Essay: Analysis of Sonnet 95." 22 Jul 2018

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay: Analysis of Sonnet 83

- Analysis of Sonnet 83 I never saw that you did painting did need, And therefore to your fair no painting set. I found, or thought I found, you did exceed The barren tender of a poet's debt. And therefore have I slept in your report, That you yourself, being extant, well might show How far a modern quill doth come too short Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow. This silence for my sin sis you impute, Which shall be muost my glory, being dumb, For I impair not being beauty being mute, When others would give life and bring a tomb....   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Free Essays
451 words (1.3 pages)

Essay: Analysis of Sonnet 33

- Analysis of Sonnet 33 Full many a glorious morning I have seen Flatter the mountaintops with sovereign eye, Kissing with golden face the meadows green, Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy, Anon permit the basest clouds to ride With ugly rock on his celestial face And from the forlorn world his visage hide, Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace. Even so my sun one early morn did shine With all-triumphant splendor on my brow. But out, alack. he was but one hour mine, The region cloud hath masked him from me now Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth, Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth....   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Research Papers
556 words (1.6 pages)

Essay: Analysis of Sonnet 95

- Analysis of Sonnet 95 How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose, Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name. Oh, in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose. That tongue that tells the story of thy days, Making lascivious comments on thy sport, Cannot dispraise but in a kind of praise. Naming thy name , blesses an ill report. Oh what a mansion have those vices got Which for thy habitation chose out thee, Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot And all things turns to fair that eyes can see....   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Free Essays
1294 words (3.7 pages)

An Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 Essays

- An Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 73      Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare is widely read and studied. But what is Shakespeare  trying to say. Though it seems there will not be a simple answer, for a better understanding of Shakespeare's Sonnet 73, this essay offers an explication of the sonnet from The Norton Anthology of English Literature:                 That time of year thou mayst in me behold               When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang               Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,               Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang....   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Research Papers
1257 words (3.6 pages)

Sonnet Analysis Essay

- What’s the first thought that pops in to your mind when you think of love, is it flowers, chocolates and teddy bears or maybe a romantic sonnet. The cliché of these superficial representations have been around for years and continue to plague our society today. But are the traditional roses on Valentine’s Day and anniversaries really a good signification of true love or would you prefer a unique and realistic approach. Good morning/ good afternoon Mr. Day and classmates, today I will be comparing two sonnets....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Research Papers
1256 words (3.6 pages)

Free Essay: Analysis of Sonnet 12

- Analysis of Sonnet 12 When I do count the clock that tells the time, And see the brave day sunk in hideous night: When I behold the violet past prime, And sable curls o'er-silver'd all with white; When lofty trees I see barren of leaves, Which erst from heat did canopy the herd, And summer's green all girded up in sheaves Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard: Then of thy beauty do I question make That thou among the wastes of time must go, since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake, And die as fast as they see others grow; And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence save breed to brave him when he takes thee hence....   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Free Essays
372 words (1.1 pages)

Free Essay: Analysis of Sonnet 64

- Analysis of Sonnet 64 When I have seen by Time's fell hand defac'd The rich proud cost of outworn buried age; When sometime lofty towers I see down raz'd, And brass eternal slave to mortal rage; When I have seen the hungry ocean gain Advantage on the kingdom of the shore, And the firm soil win of the watery main, Increasing store with loss and loss with store: When I have seen such interchange of state, Or state itself confounded to decay, Ruin hath tought me thus to ruminate- That Time will come and take my love away....   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Free Essays
572 words (1.6 pages)

Sonnet Analysis - Fair Is My Love, by Edmund Spenser Essay

- This sonnet is an anti-love poem that ironically shows how the fairness of a lady is contingent upon nature's blessings and her external manifestations.  The Spenserian style brings unity to this sonnet, in that it's theme and rhyme is interwoven throughout, but the focus of her "fairness" is divided into an octave and a sestet.  The first eight lines praise her physical features (hair, cheeks, smile), while the last six lines praise her internal features (words, spirit, heart).  This sonnet intentionally hides the speaker's ridicule behind counterfeit love-language, using phrases like: "fair golden hairs" (line 1), and "rose in her red cheeks" (line 3), and "her eyes the fire of love does s...   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Research Papers
1276 words (3.6 pages)

Analysis of Sonnet 73 Essays

- [Line 1]* - 'that time of year' being late autumn or early winter. [Line 2]* - Compare the line to Macbeth (5.3.23) "my way of life/is fall'n into the sere, the yellow leaf". [Line 4]* - 'Bare ruin'd choirs' is a reference to the remains of a church or, more specifically, a chancel, stripped of its roof and exposed to the elements. The choirs formerly rang with the sounds of 'sweet birds'. Some argue that lines 3 and 4 should be read without pause -- the 'yellow leaves' shake against the 'cold/Bare ruin'd choirs' ....   [tags: Sonnet essays]

Research Papers
1683 words (4.8 pages)

Sonnet 73 Analysis Essay

- In "Sonnet 73", the speaker uses a series of metaphors to characterize what he perceives to be the nature of his old age. This poem is not simply a procession of interchangeable metaphors; it is the story of the speaker slowly coming to grips with the finality of his age and his impermanence in time. In the first quatrain, the speaker contrasts his age is like a "time of year,": late autumn, when the "yellow leaves" have almost completely fallen from the trees and the boughs "shake against the cold." Those metaphors clearly indicate that winter, which usually symbolizes the loneliness and desolation, is coming....   [tags: Sonnet 73 Essays]

Research Papers
493 words (1.4 pages)

Related Searches

Now, if we read it with "name, blesses", both verbs, "naming" and "blesses" become nouns. How, might you ask, can we have two clauses without a verb? well, there is an implied 'to be' acting as the verb, such as the 'understood you' we all learned back in grade school in imperative (eg. [you] Don't smoke.) If we retrace our studies back, or rather foward (in the course of time), we see this in Keats's "Ode to a Grecian Urn". In the fifth stanze we read "Beauty is truth; truth beauty, that is all / ye know on earth and all ye need to know". Part of the understanding of "Ode" is that truth IS beauty. The same in Shakespeare. (Now, I'm not going to go into a discussion of the similiarities between Shakespeare and Keats, but know they exist). Therefore, the act of naming IS "thy name" and blesses (though presently we would say 'blessings') are an ill report. Wow! So there could be MORE ambiguity? How we love Shakespeare.


Third Quatrain


And oh! what a mansion indeed! Yes, (I know) what possibly could this "mansion" symbolize. Certainly something. It could be the addressee's actual house, but...probably not. We've come to expect a little more creativity from Shakespeare than this simplicity. I concur with you on the mansion being the body, and quite a compliment to somebody, too. These sins of adultry, as we might believe, come from the advantage of having a good body. We know this to be true of present day society--we all know that good-looking somebody who has multiple sexual partners, guy or girl. We also may view "mansion" as the housing of these sins in the way we call our 'memory' the house of our past experiences. Viewing it this way, we know Shakespeare believes this person must have a vast store of sins/vices. A deeper insight to the house is it, as in dreams (and this is more far-off, myself believing Shakespeare could have meant three different meanings for "mansion"), the house represents everything about the person--a room for everything about oneself. [Mansions of the Mind; catchy, huh?] We then could suppose that Shakespeare finds a fault or vice in many different areas of this person's psyche. Not buying it? Well, here's even one more possibility, although quite weak (one must rule out all possibilities, even if they may not occur). "Chose out" equals 'pick out' or simply 'chose'. If we read it as a phrasal verb--to choose out--then we read this line as 'The sins chose you for their house'. If we read it as only 'to choose', a different meaning arises--possibly appealing to a base vernacular ("mansion" here would make a FOURTH meaning--the house of the vices, not necessarily inside the addressee!) as "out" equalling 'from'. (I think I always read too deep into Shakespeare, but remember--expose all possibilities or expect possible failure!; thus reading, 'those vices of yours have a very big mansion for their house that they took from you.' (I know this last one's not so clear, or perhaps completely off-base, but I believe in my philosophy. So, 'to choose' of 'to choose out' choose). 11-12: These sins and vices could perhaps make this person seem unattractive, but "beauty's veil" has covered the house of vices, "blot" seemingly familiar to the way "spot" is 'stain', and also covering "all things". We know that "turns" is the predicate of "beauty's veil" because of the conjugation (the plural "things" would take 'turn'). "To fair" is presented quite ambiguously, possibly having 3 meanings, one of which having "fair" as an adjective, such as 'from harsh to fair'. Another reading would suggest that it is an unrealy infinitive, "to fair" not being an actual verb, but the reader has an idea that it means if needed. My favorit is reading "to " aurally to render the sould of 'too' as well: "where beauty's veil turns [too] fair, [this] that eyes can see!" which, to me, makes the punctuation more biting, as to say 'beauty has overdone you, man, everybody know it's TOO good to be true!'




The couplet here offers a proverbial closing, and again we still find dual meanings. "Large privelege" for example, refers to both the ability to hide his adulterous sins by beauty and also back to the "mansion", having a built body is a privelege indeed. Now, here's a question: does "dear heart" refer to the addressee's heart or to Shakespeare's? Good question. I like to prefer the latter--and why wouldn't I? Shakespeare loves to twist the entire sonnet with the couplet and this one is fantastic having the possibility, and believability, of being both! If you read directed toward the person, then the preoverbial statement is for him stating his good looks may catch up with him later, so be careful (or even 'do as much as you can as quick as you can, while it lasts!') But if to himself, Shakespeare may be saying he himself better be careful. He knows this person's faults, but still the beauty could attract him beyond his own control and thus be a man full of vices and sins himself. I prefer to read the latter because of the insight, and twist, but both are perfectly acceptable. You choose one, both, or another you may think exists, hidden somewhere else between the lines of thought.
Return to