The Sonnets Of Shakespeare Often Explore The Deeper Musings

1416 WordsMar 17, 20176 Pages
The sonnets of Shakespeare often explore the deeper musings of the male narrator as he catalogues his continuous waxing on intrapersonal and interpersonal matters. Sonnet 80 does this beautifully as it discusses the narrator’s deepest fear that, “my [the narrator’s] love was my dismay.” The profoundly beautiful couplet perfectly accompanies the prior three quatrains, and a sailing metaphor is used throughout. The narrator, whom is addressing the young man, brings up his biggest quandary (the other “spirit”) as he attempts to express himself to the young man. The entire sonnet is supported by the idea of sailing and boats, and, yet, the narrator and reader both know that he (the narrator) will inevitably encounter a shipwreck. This…show more content…
Thus, the next quatrain is the narrator’s attempts to justify why he still continues to write of the young man. The second quatrain serves as a justification not only for the narrator, but also for readers of the sonnet. The narrator insists that the young man’s worth is “as wide as the ocean is” and, that, his (the young man’s) humility is “the proudest sail [he] doth bear”. Although there is a juxtaposition between pride and humility, the narrator’s idea of the young man is justification enough for his continued musings on the other man. The narrator affirms that he is content with continuing to write and praise the young man despite his boat being “far inferior to his (the other suitor)”. Because the narrator’s “saucy bark” does “willfully appear” on the young man’s “broad main”, it further implicates that while the narrator knows there is a “better spirit” he also will continue writing about the young man. Finally, as if rebutting an argument about why the narrator still cares for the young man, the third quatrain explains how the narrator can keep writing of the young man. The narrator, who is conscious of the other suitor, reasons that unlike the “better spirit” he merely needs the young man’s “shallowest help” to keep him afloat; he does not need the continuous “soundless deep” that the other man needs. Additionally, the narrator also uses depth to emphasize how he and the other poet can coexist in the young man’s love; for—as small boats use the shallows and

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