A sonnet is a poem explaining a single idea, and usually contains 14 lines. They usually follow the rule of Iambic Pentameter while using any type of rhyming scheme. Shakespeare composed over 150 sonnets during his life and all of his sonnets appeared in a collection called “SHAKE-SPEARS SONNETS” in 1609. Shakespeare’s sonnets consist of three quatrains and are finished off with a couplet. Around the third quatrain his sonnets take a turn, which is when the mood of the poem changes for the better, taking a more optimistic approach. His sonnets speak of political events, love, beauty, and sex. In “Sonnet 71”, Shakespeare discusses the mourning of his beloved after his death.
The speaker of this sonnet appears to be an older man who doesn’t want his lover to mourn for him. The sonnet suggests that the speakers love is much younger than he is. Before the turn, the speaker has a very pessimistic tone, as seen in “From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell” (L. 4). Also the beginning has a very depressing tone, speaking of death in “No longer mourn for me when I am dead” (L.1). However, after the turn, his attitude turns slightly better. He speaks of his lover’s “. . . Sweet Thoughts. . .,” showing that he thinks fondly of his beloved.
“Sonnet 71” contains lines that can have separate meanings. In “Lest the wise world should look into your moan, and mock you with me after I am gone”, it is suggested the world is its own person. The world comforts her and treats her well while with the beloved, but with her back turned the beloved is being mocked. This also means that her friends and family, who are trying to comfort her to ease the pain, are actually making fun of her for having such an older husband. No one genuinely feels sorry for her. Shakespeare provides great imagery for this sonnet. When the “. . . surly sullen bell…” is mentioned, one can picture a church bell in the cathedral. In Line 10, “when I, perhaps, compounded am with...
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