This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Lust In Sonnet Cxxix (129) Essay

2102 words - 8 pages

Lust in Sonnet CXXIX (129)

A Savage Action Full of Blame - The essences of pure lust and its’ dark side. That is, in a word, what Shakespeare in his Sonnet CXXIX1 describes. His language is full of anger, frustration and self-blaming. A real, emotional, affected language - no flourishes. Shakespeare doesn't write about eternal love, the beauties of a woman or spiritual relations - all themes which we might expect from a classical sonnets. No - he talks about lust and the feeling of being dominated and helpless. And even a certain kind of vicious circle is strongly reflected in his choice of word and the atmosphere of the poem.

            If we first take a brief look at the formal aspects of Shakespeare's Sonnet, we detect rather easily that it is presented in a very traditional way. Besides the classical end-rhyme scheme, we find a lot of examples ( e.g. line 11) of alliteration, which give the poem a very harmonic and smooth tone. But in analysing the formal aspects, there is a far more interesting and important point. The syntax of the poem already tell us a lot, especially about the word lust (l.2). In twelve of fourteen lines lust is the subject. To put it in another way, we can say that almost the whole poem is subjected - in the sense of being dominated, ruled by something - to lust.

            This fact concerning the syntax, leads us to the first step of interpretation, namely the characteristics of lust. It seems, in accordance with the poem, that lust is something strong, domineering and  taking possession. But not only the syntax of the first sentence leads us to such a definition of lust; the words - or in general: the  language - in the poem speaks for itself:

"...and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,..."     (l. 2)

Besides these very clear statements concerning the characteristics, it is also striking that lust is personified completely throughout the whole poem. All these human character traits that are ascribe to lust, make the reader realize that lust isn't something inanimate, but rather a very living, acting and dominating 'being'. Therefore, one can form a very good impression of the ideas around lust that Shakespeare tries to bring us closer to.

But how does Shakespeare describe lust? Generally, in the whole poem, different attitudes are ascribed to lust, especially concerning the ideas of  before, during and after the act ( or action (l. 2) ) of lust. Also in this first quatrain, we find these ideas. Before the act ( see quote above ), lust is presented to us, in a very direct way, as something mean, lying, deceitful and almost sadistic1. But " ... is lust in action..." (l.2), the poet regards it as an "... expense of spirit in a waste of shame..." (l.1). So, the act of lust itself isn't described as bluntly as before; Shakespeare presents us in the first line a very strong metaphor of lust. As the word spirit...

Find Another Essay On Lust in Sonnet CXXIX (129)

The Significance and Involvedness of Sonnet 130

801 words - 4 pages the couplet will present. Ignoring the standard location of the “volta” makes Sonnet 130 more distinctive because it becomes more dramatic and emphasizes the importance of the statement in the couplet. Sonnet 18 describes the person as youthful and attractive, and implies the person is perfection. Lust is associated with the perception of someone as faultless, but this image will be destroyed. Correspondingly, the lust will dissipate along with

Symbolism in the Poetry of Renaissance Authors Sir Phillip Sidney and Edmund Spenser

611 words - 2 pages and lust, and an archer is present shooting his arrows. By not saying Cupid, it gives the reader the chance to have a more personal connection to the story. Sir Sidney and Spencer use symbolism as a main literary element in their own unique sonnets. When they use this element, it makes their audiences minds analyze deeper and beyond the literal words on the page. In “Sonnet 75” symbolism gives the sonnet a meaning about life, and expresses

Shakespeare's Sonnets

1784 words - 8 pages Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets. Of those, he wrote 150 to a specific person (like a lover) or a spiritual entity (such as the muse, or time). He only wrote four without a named subject or recipient, and so the content of these may reveal something different than the other 150. The first two, sonnet 5 and 94, analyze beauty and the merits of inner versus outer beauty, while the latter two, 116 and 129, discuss love in a completely contradictory

Shakespeare?s Sonnets: The Theme Of Love

1213 words - 5 pages and o’erworn…” (LXIII) Shakespeare’s sonnets are concerned with the relationship of individual experience (personal ties of love and friendship) with Time. The poems express a conviction of the permanence and validity of emotion in all its different forms, as sonnet 116 does “Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle’s compass come…” Shakespeare felt that under the pressure of mutability ‘love’ becomes ‘lust

Humanity and Reason in Othello

1819 words - 7 pages ;/And on the proof, there is no more but this--/Away at once with love or jealousy" (3.3.205-07). Othello is at this point a confident man, both in his wife's faithfulness, and in his ability to think rationally. However, Shakespeare shows that this confidence is often not enough. In his Sonnet 129, Shakespeare describes lust as another force that destroys the ability to reason effectively. The poet depicts lust as desire that is Past

Shakespeare's My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun

998 words - 4 pages be wires, black wires grow on her head" (line 4) shows the coarse, unkempt and dark color of her hair. "And in some perfumes is there more delight than in the breath that from my mistress reeks." (Lines 7-8) expresses his mistress' dire need for a breath mint. These comparisons give one a vivid description of his mistress' lacking beauty, and sets one up for the couplet at the end of the sonnet. Through the couplet "And

How do You know?

1057 words - 4 pages will not last either. Lust is not strong enough to withstand for long periods. In conclusion, these literary works prove that Lust is able to produce love, and love is able to come before lust. Ackerman’s essay proved that once two beings are able to get passed the physical attraction, they generate a stronger and unexplainable feeling. In “Sonnet 116”, Shakespeare is admired by those who are able to come to each other liberally and by choice

william shakespear sonnets characteristics

8418 words - 34 pages characters and plots are that they present real human beings in a wide range of emotions and conflicts that transcend their origins in Elizabethan England. Shakespeare's day, the word "sonnet" meant simply "little song" (from the Italian sonnetto), and the name could be applied to any short lyric poem. In Renaissance Italy and then in Elizabethan England, the sonnet

Views on Colonialism in Donne's Elegy XIX and Wroth's Sonnet 22

2552 words - 10 pages Views on Colonialism in Donne's Elegy XIX and Wroth's Sonnet 22 Introduction In the midst of Lady Mary Wroth's sonnet cycle, a sudden reference to the colonialist discoveries of dark skinned natives appears. Bringing to mind her participation in Jonson's "Masque of Blackness," she depicts dark-skinned Indians worshipping the sun as their god. In the midst of her ruminations on love and her preoccupations with her unfaithful lover

Dissolution Versus Debauchery in Sonnet 96

1002 words - 4 pages Dissolution Versus Debauchery in Sonnet 96       The sonnets of William Shakespeare chronicle the conflicts of love and lust between the blond young man and the dark-haired lady. In Sonnet 96, Shakespeare acts as an apologist on behalf of the blond young man as he concludes his discourse on the young man's character." Here the poet presents a picture of the young man as a misguided youth caught up in youthful indiscretion, rather than

Physicality and Emotional Attachment in Shakespeare's Sonnet 46

1203 words - 5 pages Physicality and Emotional Attachment in Shakespeare's Sonnet 46      In "Sonnet 46" of his works about the blond young man, William Shakespeare presents a unique view on the classic debate about physical lust versus emotional love. The poet struggles to decide if his feelings are based upon superficial desire and infatuation, represented by the "eye" (1), or true love independent of the physical world, symbolized by the "heart" (1

Similar Essays

Lust And The Degeneration Of Man Exposed In Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129

2249 words - 9 pages woman’s attributes on his character. The general trend in this sonnet is the speaker’s analysis of the mental methods through which he has admired a woman. He attempts to craftily define lust so as to rationalize his actions to be correct. However, he gradually gains the knowledge that the lust he has felt is sacrilegious, and must cease. Sonnet 129 opens as the speaker is in great distress due to the shallow quality that has permeated his love

Shakespeare's Definition Of Love Essay

941 words - 4 pages ego, lust, will taint and confuse relationships which will eventually end up with one having woe and regret. Shakespeare regards lust as the shame of any relationship. Often trusted as love, lust has the same attributes of love but a different emotional result. Shakespeare scorns lust in Sonnet 129 by writing:Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shameIs lust in action; and till action, lustIs perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,Savage

Shakespeare's Definitions Of Love And Lust

935 words - 4 pages relationships which will eventually end up with one having woe and regret. Shakespeare regards lust as the shame of any relationship. Often trusted as love, lust has the same attributes of love but a different emotional result. Shakespeare scorns lust in Sonnet 129 by writing:Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shameIs lust in action; and till action, lustIs perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust, (1-4)Much

Emotional Versus Physical: The Struggle In Words

914 words - 4 pages sleep. This continuation of the struggle can also be found while comparing the ‘young nobleman’ poem to the protests against physical interaction with the ‘dark lady’ in Sonnet 129 and Sonnet 144. In Sonnet 129, Shakespeare states, “The expense of spirit in a waste of shame is lust in action; and till action lust is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame…” (Ln. 1-3). Shakespeare conveys the idea that lusting after a person “leads men to hell