William Shakespeare—Sonnets

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William Shakespeare—Sonnets

The first 17 poems of Shakespeare’s sonnets are addressed to a young man urging him to marry and have children in order to immortalize his beauty by passing it to the next generation. The subsequent sonnets (18 to 126) express the speaker's love for a young man; brood upon loneliness, death, and the transience of life. The remaining sonnets (127 to 152) focus on Dark Lady. Dark Lady sonnets are about desire and lust. In this paper, I will discuss how William Shakespeare's sonnets progress through the sonnet sequence.

In Shakespeare's Sonnet III the poet is exhorting the Young Man to marry and have a child, merely to immortalize his beauty. “Glass”in the first line refers to a mirror; the face thou “viewest” means the reflection of yourself. Beguile means cheat; “unbless” refers to the unhappiness of marring the Young Man; “some mother” means the women that the Young Man would cause her to carry his child. The meaning of the first quatrain is “Look into the mirror and tell that image it is time to have a child and if you do not get married now, you will become too old and you will make the woman that you wish to carry your child unhappy.” The phrase “uneared” womb in line five means plowing the womb, as the plow enters into the soil so does the man enter the woman. Metaphorically, it represents the Young Man’s semen is like beans or seeds of a plant being spread on the ground. The words “tillage” and “husbandry” are both words for agriculture, which they continued the metaphor in line five. In my own opinion, “husbandry” has the double meaning of being a husband. The word “fond” means foolish. “The tomb of his self-love” is related to death because he chooses not to have a child which it will end his blood line or posterity. The following two lines (9 & 10) means that when your mother looks at you, it's like looking in a mirror; she is able to see herself young again. The phrase “the lovely April of prime” means the time when the...
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