Thursday, 19 January 2012

Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and wrote a range of plays and poetry. And sonnets traditionally are about love.

This poem looks at eternal love and love is the most important thing and his love for the woman is real or genuine. The speaker argues that his love is true and won't change. He talks about constant love which won't be diminished through age or circumstance.

An impediment is something that stops something or holds it up. The word impediment is also used in traditional marriage services. The language here links to a wedding or marriage.
In the first three lines, love doesn't change in difficult circumstances. It is written in iambic pentameter (ten syllables per line) and is a sonnet.

The repetition of the word remove is an indication that the love is constant and doesn't change the way that appearances do. The first quatrain (four line verse) talks about the way love doesn't 'alter'.
The fifth line uses metaphor which compares love to the Pole Star which stays in the same place.
The love will stay constant even in 'tempests' (huge storms).
There is an extended metaphor with the use of the star. The stars height can be measured but its value cannot. This links to the idea that their love is immeasurable.

"love's not Time's fool" - Time is personified, this is similar to the poem 'hour'.

"though rosy lips and cheeks" - even when time takes away her looks, he will still love her.
A sickle is used as a reference to time.

Lines 11 and 12 suggests that his love will carry on eternally and will not change in weeks or hours.
Final couplet is saying that what he says is true and if it isn't true then he never wrote anything, even though the reader knows that Shakespeare wrote lots. Therefore his love is true!

This sonnet can be compared to;-
the poem 'Hour' because of its references to time.
'To His Coy Mistress' as an opposite.

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