Not Marble Not the Gilded Monuments Study Guide

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NOT MARBLE NOT THE GUILDED MONUMENTS (SONNET 55)

BY: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

THEME

Shakespeare believed that love is eternal and everlasting. It cannot be destroyed or withered away, like man-made monuments which are all doomed to destruction with the passage of time. The sonnet opposes the power of verse to death and the ravages of time, promising immortality to his friend by making him the subject of his poem.

Q AND A

Q1. Why do you think the rich and powerful……(see text Q no. 1)

Ans. The rich ……………………not only to show off their wealth and power, but also as living records of themselves. They want the future generations to know them and remember them.

Q2. Describe how the monuments…of time?

And. Whether they are made of marble or of gilded stone, they have to face the ravages of time and ultimately crumble and fall. All their grandeur disappears into oblivion, forgotten forever.

OMIT Q. 3

Q3. The poet says that neither forces……lines?

The poet believes that his friend will be honoured forever in his verses which will never face extinction or destruction by the forces of nature and time. The poet’s extreme optimism and deep faith in the power of love is revealed in these lines.

Q4. How is time personified in the poem? What purpose does it serve? (not in text)

Ans 4. Time is personified as a ‘slut’, an immoral and inconstant woman who is faithful to no one. Shakespeare wants to convey that time is indiscriminate, untrustworthy, fickle and ultimately destroys everything. However, he adds, time will not be able to wipe out the memory of his friend from the minds of the future generations, as it will live forever through his verses.

Reference to Context

1. “Not marble nor ……this powerful rhyme.”

Q1a) What are ‘gilded monuments’?

Ans. Monuments that are gold-plated, grand and opulent are ‘gilded monuments’.

Q1b) What purpose do these monuments serve?

Ans. They serve as symbols of power and wealth of the...
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