Sonnet Analysis Essay

Sonnet Analysis Essay-39
The opening line shows the speaker looking at himself in a mirror or ‘glass’ and is an echo of the opening line of sonnet 3 in which the young man was urged to look at himself in a mirror as a warning against growing old and remaining childless.The imagery of Q1 emphasises the disparity with ‘old’, ‘youth’, ‘date’, ‘death’ and the metaphor of ‘times furrows’ which effectively describes the wrinkles that the speaker has now and which the young man will have in the future’.

In the couplet, the motivating factor for the poem becomes clear, with the speaker acknowledging that he is afraid that his heart may be broken by the young man.Q3 is an exhortation to the speaker and the couplet explains the fear of being left broken hearted which is the underlying reason for the sonnet. Whether you're working on a paper, or just want to explore a poem you love a little more deeply, this step-by-step guide will show you how to study one of Shakespeare’s sonnets and develop a critical response. You will see that each line has ten syllables per line, in five pairs (or feet) of stressed and unstressed beats.However in this sonnet it is examined in a more literal way with the speaker suggesting that the two have actually exchanged hearts with the outward beauty of the young man being but ‘the seemly raiment of my heart’.Here the clothing imagery and the reference to the young man’s beauty link back to Q1 and the stress on external appearance.The ‘heart’ is again the focus of the couplet, thus linking back to the 2nd and 3rd quatrains.Here however, there is the suggestion that the young man may want to take his heart back or leave the speaker.The structure of the sonnet is 4-4-4-2, although there is a change of emphasis and tone after the 8th line which means that the sonnet has a distinguishable octave and sestet.In the first quatrain, the speaker focuses upon youth and age and the disparity in age between himself and the young man.O therefore, love, be of thyself so wary, As I not for myself but for thee will; Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain; Thou gav’st me thine, not to give back again.


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