Sonnets: The Power of Love Essay

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Sonnets: The Power of Love

The majority of Elizabethan sonnets reflect two major themes: time and love. William Shakespeare, too, followed this convention, producing 154 sonnets, many of which deal with the usual theme of love. Because the concept of love is in itself so immense, Shakespeare found several ways to capture the essence of his passion. Therefore, in his poetry he explored various methods and used them to describe the emotions associated with his love for a mysterious "dark lady." These various ideas and views resulted in a series of sonnets that vibrantly depicts his feelings of true, undying love for his lady. Instead of making the topic less interesting, as some might expect, Shakespeare's myriad approaches
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In Sonnet 43, Shakespeare writes that his love has great powers, to make the world transform from darkness to light. The days are dark and sad until he saw her, but his nights are always bright from sight of her in his dreams: "All days are nights to see till I see thee,/ All nights bright days when dreams do show thee me." In the sonnet that follows, he extends this idea by saying, "If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,/ Injurious distance should not stop my way." Here, Shakespeare wishes he were thought, for if this were true, he could always be with his lady; thought, unlike himself, can travel great distances to find her and is always welcomed into her mind. This theme is again expressed in Sonnet 47, in which Shakespeare settled the argument over possession of his lady between his eyes and heart: "Thyself, away, are present still with me;/ For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move." Even if his eyes aren't gifted with the sight of her, he can feel her nearness in his thoughts. In Sonnet 52, Shakespeare compares himself to a wealthy man who treasures his jewels, like he prizes his lady: "So am I as the rich whose blessèd key/ Can bring him to his sweet up-lockèd treasure." For him, the "key" to his riches is his thoughts, which bring him immediately to his love.

Many of Shakespeare's sonnets also focus on the extent of his love, such as the sacrifices he makes for his
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