Sonnet 18

Essay by ollie2001High School, 12th gradeA+, June 2004

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William Shakespeare's produced many masterpieces whether it be a play or poem. Born in the fifteenth centaury Shakespeare has become one of the most influencing men in all history. Writing many plays and 154 poems I will just be focusing on his eighteenth sonnet: Sonnet 18 is perhaps the best known and most well loved of all 154 poems. It is also one of the most straightforward in language and intent. "Sonnet 18", written by William Shakespeare during the Renaissance Period is very much a reflection of the poet's own feelings of immortalising beauty which is captured magically amongst the quatrains. This is depicted utilising a number of poetic devices throughout the sonnet and reflects the period within which it was written. Tensions within the poem are effectively displayed in a simplistic, yet tight form, which is representative of the features of a sonnet. By naming the poem, "Sonnet 18" in a series of some 154 Sonnets, this indicates the sonnets are part of a series, all based on similar themes The theme of the preceding 17 Sonnets, to preserve beauty against time and decay, is again captured within the lines of "Sonnet 18".

The love Shakespeare has for the fair youth in "Sonnet 18" is of the same similar theme (Blakemore 1974) The word, sonnet, is from the Italian word, "Sonnetto", and means, "Little song". A sonnet follows a tight and metrical rhyme scheme and is a formally specific 14-line poem. "Sonnet 18" is a Shakespearian sonnet featuring three quatrains and a couplet, rhyming: abab, cdcd, efef, gg. A sonnet contains a favoured subject, which in this Sonnet, is love.

In this group of sonnets, the speaker urges the young woman to marry and perpetuate her virtues through children, and warns her about the destructive power of...