William Shakespeare entertains multiple themes throughout his sonnet collection and portays an overarching theme of love. Sir Philip Sydney’s difficulties with love are shown in his collection of sonnets “Astrophil and Stella”. Both poets discuss the complications with love and the desire it creates. For example, in sonnet 1 Sydney has trouble conveying his love but hopes that through these sonnets she (Stella) will understand. Shakespeare’s sonnet 129 as well as Sydney sonnet 109 both mention the reason for their hardships with love: what is fueling their desire. Both are struggling with lust but use different tones, ditcions and reasonings to arrive at the same point. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129 is grouped with poems known as the “dark” woman sonnets. This set of poems are on the darker side of Shakepeares classic love sonnets. Love is overbearing and causes the speaker to do things he normally wouldn’t. He claims that anticipation of sex creates erratic human behavior. Shakespeare uses graphic imagery, “murderous, bloody, full of blame” to illustrate his frustration towards the situation (3). He blames his sexual desires and claims that they are driving him to insanity (“make…. taker mad” (8)). To him, lust is a sin and is the root of peoples pain. Throughout the poem the order of words tends to be reversed and repeated (“mad”, “past reason”) to deepen the impression of conflict, as in line 2: “lust in action; and till action, lust.” Despite intuition he is bound by passion and questions why he should “purs[ue]” what he knows to be worthless (“swallow’d bait”). The poem explains that sex is blissful while your’re doing it and, once you’re done, a true sorrow that it ever happened A bliss in proof,-- and prov’d, a very woe;
Before, a joy propos’d; behind, a dream:…(11-12).
Here he embelishes the notion that people will go to absurd lengths in the pursuit of sex but end up hating themselves for it afterwards.
Sydney’s Sonnet 109 immediately identifies...