Shakespear's "Sonnet 55" and Fletcher's "Licia"

Topics: Poetry, Love, Sonnet Pages: 1 (354 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Many factors can be used to analyze "Sonnet 55" by William Shakespear and "Licia" by Giles Fletcher. "Sonnet 55" and "Licia" share the subject of eternal love. In "Sonnet 55," the narrator says that the memory of his love will last through "wasteful wars" that destroy tangible objects (Shakespear 5). Love remains in the mind;" it is "living record of [the lover's] memory" and cannot be destroyed (Shakespear 8). "Licia" also mentions strong tangible objects being out-lasted by love. However, it also says that true love lasts beyond the superficial "rose and silver lilies;" as they die, love remains. Even as the rivers dry and the earth decays, love prevails. The last two lines of each sonnet emphasize the subject; as time passes, everything fades except love.

The attitudes of Shakespear and Fletcher are also similar. Both are in awe of the power and perseverance of love. They mention things that they think of as extremely powerful and say that love will outlast them; unlike them, love will not even fade. They make love seem to be like a rock that does not decay or move; it is ever-present with the lovers and it is never forgotten.

Both sonnets are Elizabethan sonnets. Their rhyme scheme is a, b, a, b, c, d, c, d, e, f, e, f, g, g. They build up the subject until the last two lines, where they reach the conclusion that love is eternal. Both are in imabic pentameter.

Shakespear uses more word play than Fletcher. In line two, Shakespear says that nothing "shall outlive this powerful rime." Rime is the crust that builds up when something is in existence for a large amount of time. However, it can also be read as "rhyme," meaning that nothing will outlast the poem. When he said "rime" he was talking about love; through this he compares it to something strong that does not fade easily.

Both Shakespear and Fletcher use imagery in their poems. Shakespear paints a picture of raging war destroying everything around it. Fletcher illustrates...
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