Sonnet 55

Topics: Poetry, Poetic form, Sonnet Pages: 3 (797 words) Published: August 30, 2010
Sonnet 55

Name- Ishita Trivedi

Grade – 10M

Subject – English

Mar’s favourite Rhyme

Written by William Shakespeare the renowned “Sonnet 55” is a lyrical poem that effectively states his idea of immortality. Throughout the three quatrains Shakespeare portrays the subject and certain aspects of the theme as stated in the couplet. The profound theme that the poet explores is the mightiness of words over time. The persona addresses his beloved, recounting how her beauty shall live on till eternity in “this powerful rhyme” outracing all the precious monuments and stones in this arduous race against time. The use of the figurative languages in this poem illuminates how words can outweigh death, and immortality can continue to live on.

The persona commences the sonnet with lines: “Not marble, nor the glided monuments/ Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme”. These two lines immediately funnel the reader towards the theme of the poem as the persona symbolically compares the monuments to the lyrics of poems. The persona believes that poetry is a preserver of immortality. He immediately confronts the reader with the subject of this poem – ‘preserver of immortality’, by using imagery and diction such as “gilded monuments”. These beautiful gold plated monuments are built in the remembrance of the princes and preserve their memories. However as the poet compares the power of poetry to monument in the next line he also announces to the reader his idea of immortality. The poet believes that immortality can outlive time through “these contents” however the monuments surrender to the age of time as the persona explains in the next quatrain.

In the next quatrain, the persona further explores the theme however through a different comparison. Throughout this quatrain the poet supports his views about immortality by comparing the mightiness of this poetry, which is preserving immortality, against war, that shall destroy everything. The poet personifies war...
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