Discussion of common themes in Sonnets 65, 104 and 116.

Essay by fantasii_flipHigh School, 12th grade September 2005

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Shakespeare is generally regarded as one of the greatest playwrights who ever lived who also had great skill in creating beautifully poignant poetry. His great masterpieces include the 154 sonnets written in 16th century England. Although it is unknown if he wrote these sonnets in the order that they are numbered, it is recognised that the majority of the first 126 sonnets were addressed to the Earl of Southampton, his patron and social superior. These sonnets delve into Shakespeare's thoughts and emotions during the time he was having a relationship with the young man. Through his sonnets he is able to communicate to the audience of today, the notion that love is a constant emotion which has the ability to transcend the inconsistencies of physical beauty and time.

Sonnet 104's focus is on how the beauty of Shakespeare's "fair friend" remains to be untouched despite the transience of time. The "Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned" indicates that he has known the person whom he is writing about for approximately three years.

In this time he has not observed any physical change, in fact, he states that to him, his beloved "can never be old". It would be fair to say that Shakespeare is totally aware of the passing of time because he has "seen, three April perfumes in three hot Junes burned" thus he must also be aware that loss of beauty is unavoidable. Despite this, Shakespeare says to his friend "such seems your beauty still". It can be inferred that when he first "eyed" the eye of the beloved what he saw was a beautiful soul in a beautiful body; after all it was a common concept that the eyes are a window to the soul. While extrinsic beauty eventually and unerringly fades, the intrinsic beauty and...