What Does Shakespeare Tell Us About Love in 'Sonnet 116'?
Love is likened to light, the metaphor “It is the light to every wand’ring bark” implies love is the star which guides lost and hopeless individuals and it helps them when they are in times of trouble and difficult situations. It opens their eyes and lets them see what life is like when there is always something, or someone, helping them along the way so that they never get lost or lonely again.
We are also told that love is unconquerable, nothing will ever change how much you love someone even if you argue and fight, love “is an ever-fixed mark, that looks on tempests and is never shaken”. You could go through the most painful ordeals and terrible disagreements but your feelings would stay the same because love is never scared away, nothing intimidates it as it is one of the most powerful emotions.
Shakespeare compares love to “Time’s fool,” but says love doesn’t depend on time it feeds on it. The longer you spend with someone, the more likely your feelings for them will grow and even if you see others who are just as attractive as your lover, you’ll not be swayed as your love is for them and only them. “…though rosy lips and cheeks within his bending sickle’s compass come” implies no matter who you meet, whether they are extremely beautiful (inside or out) you won’t care for them in that way as your feelings are for someone else and nothing could ever change that.
In the last two lines there is a message in the use of rhyme Shakespeare used, “If this