Roses and Seeds in William Shakespeare´s Fair Youth Essay

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"From fairest creatures we desire increase" is the first of 154 untitled sonnets written by William Shakespeare published in 1609. The poem is the first of the 'Procreation' set of sonnets, which are believed by English historians, to be addressed to or concerning an unmanned "Fair Youth" male, and argue that this man needs to marry and father children. While there is much speculation on the identity of the Fair Youth, the first set of poems are more platonic in tone, as compared to the latter poems which were obviously sexual and passionate themed. Breaking down this poem, we will start with the versification of the poem. Like all Shakespearean Sonnets, it contains one stanza with fourteen lines, and follows a metric beat of iambic …show more content…

This comparison may hint of a more intimate relationship Shakespeare held with the unnamed male. The second quatrain shifts audiences, from being directed towards the entire human race to specifically the Fair Youth. Shakespeare addresses the man with a more disapproved and disappointed tone. The man is described as being selfish, self-centered, and contracted into his own personal interest. Shakespeare metaphorically compares the man to a lantern in line six, telling the man that his youth is burning out, like a lantern or a candle. Then Shakespeare uses two analogies to further express the man's defiance against the natural desire to reproduce. The first analogy, "Making a famine where abundance lies," the man is hoarding all of his ability to have offspring, or sperm in this case, inside himself. The second one states "Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.", meaning that he is his own enemy, and his selfish act is defiance against the command of God and the natural desire of humans by not having offspring. The third quatrain now changes tone from scornful and disdain to a more hopeful . Shakespeare refers back to the conceit created in the second line, describing the man as the "world's fresh ornament and only herald to the gaudy spring," with using roses in the context of extravagant and decorative ornaments that bloom in springtime. In this line, Shakespeare is calling out to the man, telling him

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