Analysis of Sonnet 18

Topics: Poetry, Sonnet, William Shakespeare Pages: 2 (850 words) Published: February 6, 2013
View of the evitable
In “Sonnet 18” by William Shakespeare and “Death” by John Donne, both poems describe how death is escaped. Both writers suggest that we shouldn’t fear death, because with death comes life. The use of imagery, metaphors, and personification are used to develop these themes of the sonnets. However, each sonnet addresses how they view immortality in different ways. While “Sonnet 18” focuses on immortality by capturing beauty, immortality in “Death” is viewed through a religious perspective.

The speaker of the poem “Death” shows fearlessness in the first stanza of the poem. “Death be not proud, though some have called thee/Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so” (1-2). Here death is being personified and confronted about his arrogant ways. The speaker lets death know that he is not as strong and scary as people perceive him to be. In the following lines death is brought down even more. The speaker reveals that death can’t really end our life because when we die we would then begin living eternally. John Donne uses his belief in Christianity to suggest to the reader there is life after death. The writer uses a metaphor in line five to compare death to “rest and sleep” to make matters worse. “From Rest and Sleep, which but thy picture be” (5). Rest and sleep are two things that are peaceful and calm, and are things we aren’t scared of at all. Sleep is interpreted as a temporary death which we wake up from in this poem. The speaker talks about how death is doing people a favor by ending their life. “And soonest our best men with thee do go-/Rest of their bones and souls’ delivery” (7-8). These two stanzas propose that when death presents itself to us, we will finally be relieved of the pain, agony, and troubles of the world. Within stanza nine, imagery is used to describe the true image of death. Death is characterized as a servant who follows the rules of fate, chance, and kings as they are the only ones who make the calls on who dies or...
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