Free Essays On Shakespeare's Sonnet Sonnet 107

Free Essays On Shakespeare's Sonnet Sonnet 107

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Analysis of Sonnet 107


Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul

Of the wide world dreaming on things to come

Can yet the lease of my true love control,

Suppos'd as forfeit to a condin'd doom.

The mortal moon hath her eclipse endur'd,

And the sad augurs mock their own presage;

Incertainties now crown themselves assur's,

nd peace proclaims olives of endless age.

Now with the drops of this most balmy time

My love looks fresh; and Death to me subscribes,

Since spite of him I'll lime in this poor rhyme

While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes:

And thou in this shalt find thy monument

When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent.



This has been an important sonnet in trying to date the sonnets. Several words and phrases have prompted readers to ponder on the year it was written, ranging from 1588 to 1603. The main areas of concentration rely on the following: 1) the "eclipse" of the "mortal moon," in line 5; 2)who the "sad augurs" are and their "presage," in line 6; 3) allusion in lines 7 and 8, and if "confin'd doom" is in refernce to a certain event and which event that is. Of these, the most supported responses to 1 are: the Spanish Armada, 1588 (Butler, Hotson); the Queen's Grand Climacteric , 1595-6 (Harrison); the Queen's illness in 1599-1600 (Chambers); Essex's rebellion in 1601 (Tyler); the Queen's death in 1603 (eg. Massey, Minto, Lee, Beeching); a lunar eclipse, 1595 (O.F. Emerson); or an eclipse of the Queen's favour (Conrad). Answers to the second problem relate closely with the first, that is, with the addition of a fear of civil war as a result of Elizabeth's death and also the usual forecasts of political (and other) disasters that were forecasted from the eclipse. The third problem cites the confidence seen in lines 7 and 8,a dn therefore the overshoot of the proclaimed disasters. The fourth seems to refer to the imprisonment of some specific individual, eg. Southampton, who was released after James I accession to the throne.


1-4: 'Neither my own fears nor the foreshadowing of worldly disasters can control the extent of my only love, supposing [invented by fears] that it is a "confin'd doom." Lines 4 and 5 evoke a sense of death, saying that all will eventually die, and reading line 6 with stresses on "augurs" and "own" gives the sense that the prognosticators jeer their own predictions due to time being so joyous.

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For line 7, Ingram/Redpath paraphrase as follows: "A time full of anxious uncertainties has given place to one of triumphant confidence." 8: 'And we can now expect endless peace.' 9-10 support an image of a wilted flower regaining turgor pressure and thus reviving its weakened condition, 'and then death writes to me'.11-12: 'Since I will live in verse in spite of Death', a common thematical trope seen in the Sonnets, 'while he triumphs over those who are inarticulate [those who cannot write poetry]'. 13-14: 'Thus you shall find my monument in this [poetry in general or this specific sonnet] when "cruell despots or usurpers" have died'.

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