Shakespeare's Ideas About Love in His Sonnets Essay

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Shakespeare's Ideas About Love in His Sonnets

The two sonnets Shall I Compare Thee and Let Me Not are by William Shakespeare. Love is the main theme of both sonnets. Shall I Compare Thee is written for Shakespeare's love, and it is more personal and cheerful. He takes apart the greatness of a summer's day and compares it to the subject of the poem, but the subject (whom we assume is a 'she') is always more divine and she is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen. The sonnet states that the subject is "…more lovely and more temperate…" than the finest summer's day. Let Me Not is a philosophical interpretation of love, and implies that this is what love should be like. In the end Shakespeare
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In Shall I Compare Thee the first two quatrains talk about how beautiful the subject of the sonnet is and in the last quatrain it introduces the idea that she can be immortalised. He expresses this by saying "…but thy eternal Sommer shall not fade… nor shall death brag thou wandr'st in his shade…" The final rhyming couplet declares that writing poetry will immortalise her.

Navigational imagery is used often in Let Me Not. For example, "O no, it is an ever fixed marke, that lookes on tempests and is never shaken; it is the star to every wandring barke." Shakespeare is saying here that love guides a person, like a star to a lost ship, and without love we are lost. True love will weather all storms and will be constant. In the third quatrain Shakespeare writes about how love lasts till time ends and the word "sickles" could be used in the sense that he is gathering youth because "…rosie lips and cheeks…" do not last forever.

Although he says "Love alters not with his breefe houres and weekes, But beares it out even to the edge of doome," meaning that love will last and not change even when they have gone grey and old. There is death imagery in the poem such as "edge of doome" meaning judgement day or the end of the universe. Also "bending sickles" can be interpreted as the grim reaper, symbolizing death. Other time
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