Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare
Shakespeaare’s sonnet 116 is a part of his 154-poem sonnet sequence. First 126 sonnets addresses to a young man and the rest of them addresses to “the dark lady” who betrays the speaker with the young man in the first 126 sonnets. The iambic parameter and refrains used in the poem are the musical components in the sonnet and in order to draw the attention of the listeners or readers of the poem they are reinforced with the repetition of certain sounds in the first quatrain-“love/love”, “alters/alteration” and “remover/remove”. The writer wants be sure of that the audience is about to deal with a poem. It is this musical play of the language which gives us the sense of a poem and Shakespeare applies to this tool from the very beginning of his sonnet. It consists of three quatrains and a heroic couplet at the end. Shakespeare conveys the message of what love is and what love is not throughout the three quatrains which gives the sonnet a very didactic tone. It finishes with a conditional structure in an ironic way implying that the speaker is very confident of what he conveys. The first line is a run-on line (enjambment) urging the reader to the following line which gives a pace to the poem. It starts with negative statement “Let me not” and the first quatrain deals with what love is not. The sonnet is written in antithetical structure so the following quatrain introduces a contrasting idea-what love is-“it is an ever-fixed mark”. The third quatrain again opens with an idea parallel to the first one and tells again what love is not. “Let me not to the marriage of true minds(lines 1-4)
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove”
First quatrain describes love and according to the speaker love is “the marriage of true minds” and never changes when it finds a chance to change, never shifts to another thing and cannot be separated when it is tried to be separated...
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