Street children in egypt

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Shakespeare is a great playwright, and sonneteer, his work is admired by many people world wide and he proves to have been very good with his work on love in his writings. His sonnets are special, in that the overall perspective is not expected to be given in such a way; meaning that readers would expect that a male poet of his time would give more attention to the love of the female rather than writing 126 out of 154 sonnets for a young man more or less. For this paper I will be presenting the three most famous and most favored sonnets of the collection that are going to stand as very efficient examples of the explanation of the different forms of love expressed in the group of sonnets. I will start with sonnet 18 that is one which is proved to be very clearly addressed to the young nobleman, whom the speaker loves very much.

Then I will move on to 116 which is more neutral than specifically addressed to a person, and finally I will conclude with 130 which is addressed to the dark lady whom the speaker loves, hates, and lusts for simultaneously. I will also be comparing with in the text ideas that are related between the three sonnets and with other literary works of the time.

Sonnet number 18 "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" is one of the 126 sonnets supposedly all dedicated to the young man friend or the fair youth. This piece is basically the 'I' of the sonnet describing and talking about how beautiful and fair the young man is to him. The main theme in these sonnets is the power of love and how it is able to make the poetry and its subject immortal.

In the first quatrain Shakespeare starts by questioning whether it is possible to compare the beauty of the summer season to the more beautiful and perfect fair youth. Then he continues his self created argument in the following two lines of the quatrain by saying that the summer season can lose its beauty to some rough winds that shake its stature whereas the young man has permanent beauty. He also says the summer is too short to be compared to the young mans eternal beauty.

In the second quatrain the 'I' goes on more about why the summer season is no match to compare with the young man. He starts out with a beautiful reference to the sun as 'the eye of heaven' and he says its not perfect because at times it gets too hot and one can imply from this that the fair youth is non changing unless it is to the better.� In the following line he claims that it can also be 'dimmed' as in covered by clouds meaning that the beauty the imperfect sun may offer can at times be prevented unlike the fair youth that is beauty itself. He then goes on to make this strong statement that all that is beautiful will by time and because of time loose its beauty whether because of misfortune or because of fate.

In the third quatrain he goes back to talk about the fair youth and what is positive about him rather than what was negative about the summer. He starts by replying to line four saying that the beautiful summer is short and will end but the young mans beauty will never fade. He also replies to line six by saying that the young man will never lose possession of his beauty. Next he moves on to this different point "immortality", he is blankly saying that the young man will never die, by this he leaves the reader confused but with the line after he makes it clear that he will only live forever in his verse.

In the couplet he makes this another strong statement and promise to the young man saying that as long as men breathe or are able to see with their eyes and as long as this sonnet lives these lines will give you life. So he sums up by returning to the point of immortality in line 11, 12 basically.�

Sonnet 116 "Let me not to the marriage of true minds". The best way to describe this sonnet is to say that It is a sonnet about "love". It sounds like a very vague and cliché description of a sonnet; but this sonnet basically answers the two way question "what is and what is not love?" It is a sonnet that people have taken to understand as a definition of love when it is actually more of an example of dramatic disproving or rebuttal it is enough that there is nine negating terms at least in the sonnet. This sonnet is considered very rich and famous deservingly; however his use of terminology and metaphors are very basic he was able to put them together to create a beautiful piece of art giving us a strong statement on his belief towards love. This sonnet is probably one of the only sonnets that are giving us the voice of Shakespeare rather than that of the "I" that is excluding the couplet.

The first quatrain of this sonnet is a mixture of ideas. It is a quatrain answering more or less the negating question "what is not love?" He starts by writing two lines that show clear reference to the marriage service in the Book of Common Prayer which states "if any of you know cause, or impediment, why these two people should not be joined in holy matrimony, ye are to declare it".� The difference between this and the sonnet is that the marriage is not one of a husband and a wife, not even necessarily female and male, but however it is the marriage of the minds and the souls. Shakespeare continues on from the second half of the second line to the end of the quatrain to strongly negate what love is not. He states out clearly that 'love is not love' when it could die with circumstance or change negatively over time. The invisible transition between the first quatrain and the second quatrain would state that love is not love if it is not the following…

In the second quatrain we are moving on to the un-negated question "what is love?" Even though it is a non negating quatrain Shakespeare apparently can't resist giving us a 'no' at the start of the quatrain and a 'never' in the middle. This quatrain introduces three different ideas or themes regarding love. One is the guiding light as he mentioned a lighthouse in the first line 'mark' and 'star' in the third, the second and third themes are stability and strength, which are made clear by his use of 'ever fixed' and 'never shaking'.� The quatrain is basically saying that love is a strong stable never moving light house that won't even shake against the strongest storms. He also says that love is the shining north star guiding all lost ships to their shore and he sums up by saying that love has pricless values even though its grace can be calculated. One funny thing that is very obvious and caught the attention of many critics is that even though this is a sonnet so much about love, the word does not even appear in this quatrain. However Helen Vendler makes quite an interesting observation in the second line, she found a portmanteau 'Lover' in the words Look and Never.�

The third quatrain takes us back to the factor of negation presented to us in the first quatrain going back to answer more deeply the question "what is not love?" He starts out by saying 'loves not times fool' meaning that the evil negative effects of time have no effect over love. I find that Shakespeare's negative inference to time is interesting and expected because in several previous and upcoming sonnets he complains about how time is stealing away his own personal youth and is bringing him closer to death. A very strong technique that he uses discreetly in my opinion is the contradiction and negating of a point in order to prove the opposite. He says that love is not subject to the effects of time, then he says but physical beauty matters. The latter contradicts the former because if looks matter then time can abuse the youth and beauty of a person leaving him/her loveless; but the brilliance of Shakespeare's technique is that the bigger point proven is that with true love nothing maters because nothing can negatively change it at all. This takes us back to the first two lines of the sonnet saying that there is no 'impediment'. The next two lines of quatrain three simply say that true love does not last for a few hours, days, or weeks, but it lasts until your final breath taken and your final jot of blood pumped through your heart.

His couplet is a powerful statement in self confidence of his own words and ideas because he says with strength that if it could be proven that his words are not true or right he will recant all he has written and that no man would have ever truly loved before. The second meaning this final phrase may have is that if this is not true then I have never loved the young man whom I wrote 126 sonnets for.

Sonnet 130 is my favorite of all 154; it is probably the most comic and satirical in the whole sequence. The fact that he wrote this as an opposite response to another sonnet makes it more interesting. The writer of the Original piece is anonymous but the following is what is believed to be responded to by Shakespeare:

My mistress' eyes are brilliant as the sun,

And coral's colour matches her lips' red;

Her snowy breasts are like to other none,

And golden wires ornament her head.

A bed of damask roses, red and white,

I find within the confines of her cheeks,

And perfume's self, conferring all delight,

Breathes in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, and well I know

That only music hath such pleasing sound;

In walking she doth like a goddess go,

Her dainty feet scarce printing on the ground.

In all, by heaven I think my love as rare

As any she conceived for compare.�

You can see that line for line Shakespeare negates all the positive descriptions of the original sonneteer, and then he ends by declaring his love to the dark lady. The relationship between sonnet 130 and 18 that I wanted to show is the description. In sonnet 18 he described the young man to be better than the best and more perfect than perfection; whereas in this sonnet as I will be discussing he described the dark lady in the worst way and with such low quality mundane attributes. This sonnet has often been misunderstood to be a description of the lady's ugly looks when it is rather a realistic display of love for 'who' one is rather than what one looks like. The other intentions Shakespeare had when writing this sonnet was to satirize the lack of genuine descriptions other poets of the time displayed.�

In the first quatrain Shakespeare or the 'I' of the sonnet is basically using a technique known as (negating comparison). Because he is comparing physical aspects of the dark lady with different beautiful things and saying that she is not any of them. He starts out by saying in the first line that her eyes are nothing like the sun; in Elizabethan times the sun was often associated with 'gold' and in turn with 'fair'.� So in this line he is blankly stating that the dark lady's eyes are not golden or fair as the sun they are actually very regular and as we know black. In the second line he goes on to say that her lips are not as red and beautiful as coral. This is in contrast to Adonis's "sweet coral mouth" in Venus and Adonis line 542. It also contrasts Lucrece's "coral lips" in Rape of Lucrece line 420.� In the third line he goes on to negate any relationship between the color of her breasts and that of snow, but rather he says they are 'dun' as in grayish brown in color. Finally in the fourth line he compares her hair to be as black wires if her were to be compared with wires. In Elizabethan times it was common to compare 'golden wires' with the hair of women, as spenser did in line 154 in his Epithalamion when he said "her long loose yellow locks lyke golden wires".� Other then the fact that Shakespeare is comparing her negatively to black wires, this imagery of the hair as wires relates to Medusa in ancient Greek mythology that had snakes for hair.

In the second quatrain he goes on to also negate comparison but in a different way. He starts in the first two lines of the quatrain by describing damask roses and denying any resemblance between them and her cheeks. This is in contrast to Barne's Parthenophil and Parthenophe (1593), Ode 16, 34-8:

"Her cheeks to Damaske roses sweet

In sent, and colour, weare so like."�

The fact that Shakespeare said "but no such roses see I in her cheeks," implies that her complexion was dark or tanned. In the following two lines he says that perfumes smell much better than her breath that 'reeks'. Starting the 18th century to this day the word reeks has been defined as 'stinks' which would build more upon the pattern of negative description. However in Shakespeare's times the word merely meant 'emitting smell' which would then start the pattern of regularity and realism.�

The third quatrain is where Shakespeare's tone improves when he describes and negates comparisons to the lady. And he is actually more neutral towards her if not a little bit positive. In the first half of the first line he gives us the positive yet misleading phrase when he says "I love to hear her speak…" What makes this phrase misleading is that he gives the reader the impression that he will start positively describing the lady. The truth however is that he continues to say that her voice is bad, or better to say 'regular'; he does this by saying that music sounds much better than her voice. In lines 11-12 in my opinion is when he really starts to bluntly state that his mistress is human and real not fictionally perfect as most sonneteers did at the time. He starts by saying he never saw a goddess walk. It is possible that Shakespeare had in mind Aeneas' encounter with Venus (Aeneid I, 405): 'et vera incessu patuit dea' ('and in her step she was revealed a very goddess' (Loeb)). Then in line twelve he comes out and says that his lady is regular and walks on the earth like any other real woman. In contrast to his description of how a goddess walks in Venus and Adonis, 1028: 'The grass stoops not, she treads on it so light'. �

The couplet is one very powerful statement and opposition by Shakespeare; he is clearly stating that true love needs not to be expressed by comparing thy love to the sun, moon, the sky, or the oceans; it is best to be honest and speak clearly of your passion and refrain thyself from using these fake decorative comparisons.� Even though this inferred statement by Shakespeare is extraordinary to me it is also quite ridiculous because he is contradicting him self when he describes the fair youth in sonnets such as number 18.

Shall I compare thee to a summers day?

O no, it is an ever fixed mark

And yet by heaven I think my love as rare.

The boy, the love, the lady, and the man who wrote and loved put together give us now 154 great sonnets. Shakespeare loved the boy, the 'young man', or the 'fair youth' and described him in the most perfect way. He then talks of love, its strength, stability, continuity, and how it meant the world to him. Then finally he spoke of the 'dark lady' he loved, but never matched her beauty to that of the boy's. These three different levels that Shakespeare targeted in his sonnets created this confusion, admiration, and inspiration to his readers. I for one was perplexed at the idea that this great writer ever so famous speaking of his love to another man, and demeaning his admiration to the lady's looks. Even though there is so much of an autobiographical feel in his sonnets we may never know if it's true, for all we know they were both figments of Shakespeare's psychotic, imaginative hallucination. Maybe this young successful writer who spoke of love O so much never loved at all. But then again that is just me, the fact of the matter is that Shakespeare was unique and he wanted so much to make it apparent, as he successfully did. And regardless of all the books I've read with all the different commentaries I believe that he was one of the very few lucky men who were able to truly understand love and portray it with honest beauty in his literary works of art.


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� Evans, G. Blakemore, and Anthony Hecht. The Sonnets. Pg 131

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� Evans, G. Blakemore, and Anthony Hecht. The Sonnets. Pg 228

� Ingram, W.G., and Theodore Redpath. Sixty-Five Sonnets of Shakespeare. Pg 116.

� Vendler, Helen. The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets. Pg 493.

� Vendler, Helen. The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets. Pg 556.

� Seymour-Smith, Martin. Shakespeare's Sonnets. Pg 178.

� Evans, G. Blakemore, and Anthony Hecht. The Sonnets. Pg 248.

� Evans, G. Blakemore, and Anthony Hecht. The Sonnets. Pg 248.

� Evans, G. Blakemore, and Anthony Hecht. The Sonnets. Pg 248.

� Evans, G. Blakemore, and Anthony Hecht. The Sonnets. Pg 248.

� Seymour-Smith, Martin. Shakespeare's Sonnets. Pg 178.

� Evans, G. Blakemore, and Anthony Hecht. The Sonnets. Pg 248.

� Seymour-Smith, Martin. Shakespeare's Sonnets. Pg 179.