Personification In Sonnet 116

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William Shakespeare – Sonnet 116 William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, illustrates the poet’s beliefs regarding that of a true love, and union. Through his depiction of the ‘ever-fixed mark’ (5) that love imprints onto the soul, Shakespeare is able to reflect on the purity and immortality of a ‘marriage of true minds’ (1) through both structural and contextual devices. Through the personification of love, the speaker is able to argue as to what does and does not constitute as a ‘true’ (1) love, and that the emotion itself is subjective to those taking part. Sonnet 116 comprises of three quatrains and concludes with a rhyming couplet, that of which is exemplary of a sonnet in the Shakespearean style. This Shakespearean form is then maintained through the rhyme scheme used of ABABCDCDEFEFGG. Each of the individual quatrains illustrate two separate justifications of the central theme, with the arguments of the first and third quatrains framing the explication of the second. This reflects the poet’s persistence of his belief that ‘Love alters not’ (11), and articulates a passion of one who may be attempting to convince themselves of this vehement rapture. Nasal alliteration within the first two lines also illustrates what may be the beginning of a casual, insouciant conversation, but quickly becomes an ardent debate through the halting of these ‘M’ sounds for the rest of the sonnet. As is indicative of the traditional Shakespearean sonnet, the volta occurs after the final line of
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