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Analysis Of Two Of The Best Williams Shakespeare's Work

1610 words - 6 pages

Known as the leader in classical poetry and drama, English writer William Shakespeare, captures the passion and emotions that the romance and depths of the human heart experiences in life. This is especially shown in his vast collection of sonnets which exemplified the “carpe diem” ideology of the period, and the love that one can have for another. Two of the most famous of Shakespeare’s works, Sonnet 55 [Not Marble, nor the gilded monuments] and sonnet 116 [Let me not to the marriage of true minds], are no exception to this theme in poetry. Both of these sonnets exemplify the love that the narrator has for a mistress in his life, and how he defines his love for them. Throughout both poems, Shakespeare conveys his purpose through the content, the overall theme of love and its permanence, and the form and structure in which the sonnets are written that can sometimes break the traditional rules.
The thematic portion of Sonnet 55 describes the love that the narrator has for his mistress and how through his poetry she will be immortalized. In line one and two the narrator describes the symbolic value of the grand monuments and rulers of the period, which were held to the highest reverence. This is an allusion to the tombs of the wealthy class and religious monuments of the time that often were embellished gold-plated accents. This emphasizes the high reverence the narrator is putting his lover in; along with line two, in which he states that even the ruling princes shall not outlive the powerful rhyme of his poem (“Sonnet LV”). The poet states that the person of interest will “shine more bright in these contents (Mays 892)” in line three, elaborating on the theme of undying admiration. Shakespeare is bold even in the first three lines of the poem comparing by the poem to the monuments princes built to immortalize themselves. The next four lines describe how the monuments shall be vanquished by nature and that wars shall overturn them, but the poem will still be alive and stand as a form of memory of his loves existence. Line nine holds the subtle transition from the destruction described in the earlier lines of the poem and the narrator goes on to state that the poem will live on despite the impending death that all humans face. As the poem ends in the traditional couplet, the narrator states that until the world ends, his love will endure and be seen by all future generations and continue to live in their lovers eyes (“Sonnet LV”).
Shakespeare also conveys a theme of love and its permanence throughout Sonnet 116. Universally seen as the poem that describes ideal and eternal love, the sonnet describes what true love is and what it is not. “Let me not the marriage of true minds” implies that the poet does believe that love can last forever despite society’s popular belief that love can not last until judgment day (“Sonnet CXVI”). Lines two through four describes what love is not and emphasizes that true love does not find imperfections and...

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