William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129
William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129 is a classic Shakespearian Sonnet from his distinguished collection published in 1609. The Shakespearean Sonnet is unquestionably the most intellectual and dramatic of poetic forms and, when written well, is a masterpiece not only of poetic talent but intellectual talent as well. Like the majority of sonnets, Sonnet 129 has fourteen lines and is organized into an octave followed by a sestet; or more in depth, three quatrains followed by a heroic couplet. However, there is one thing about this poem that does not follow the traditional cookie cutter model of a Shakespearean Sonnet. The distinctiveness is that this particular sonnet does not have the volta or thematic turn which generally shifts the mood or thematic direction, the topic of discussion and the mood in which it is written remains the same. There are, of course, other sonnets that Shakespeare wrote that also do not have a volta. The words of this poem discuss the issue of sex and lustful desire and the negative effects that they have on humanity. Shakespeare artistically puts the issue into three categories: lust as a longing for future pleasure, lust as it is consummated in the present, and finally, lust as it is remembered after the pleasurable experience, when it becomes a source of shame. These three categories are organized flawlessly into the three Sicilian Quatrains of the sonnet which all lead up to the heroic or rhyming couplet at the end. These final two closing lines fundamentally state that everyone in the world knows everything that has been said very well, they know and have experienced the consequences of lustful desires; and yet, no one knows well enough to stay away from this magnificent experience that leads us to a state of suffering. The meter of this sonnet follows the traditional guiding principles by using iambic pentameter. Therefore, for the most part, each line is divided into five feet and each of these...
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