Free Shakespeare Essay Sample

William Shakespeare’s sonnets belong to the wonderful examples of lyrical poetry of the Renaissance. Shakespeare created 154 sonnets, and most of them are devoted to the love theme. But there are a lot of sonnets which unfold ideas of friendship, philosophical reflections, and art.

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Shakespeare’s works fascinate the readers with different styles of writing. He utilizes imagery in order to convey feelings and create bright images in the reader’s mind. Sonnet 18 is a perfect example of comparison between the season of summer and the speaker's lover. Shakespeare extols his love without bragging: “Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate”. In some sonnets Shakespeare protests against the tradition of idealized woman’s image. Traditionally, sonnets present women like the most glorious creatures in the world. Shakespeare makes fun of the convention by contrasting an idealized woman with a real woman. In Sonnet 130, Shakespeare denies the clichéd concepts of beauty. “My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips' red”. Symbolism is another way to intensify reader's emotions. It helps to make the reader empathize his feelings and affection. Shakespeare uses symbolism many times throughout the Sonnet 29, “When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries”. He uses symbolism here because he wants to explain that the speaker feels like an outcast compared to the rest of society.

Shakespeare uses literary devices to approach the reader to the poem. The language of Shakespeare’s sonnets resembles the living style of speech. There are many figurative comparisons taken from everyday life. Literary devices that he used help the reader to sense his thoughts and feelings. Shakespeare created his sonnets as lyric poetry. But now they have even more important meaning: Shakespeare’s intimate feelings reflect the time in which the poet lived.

Shakespeare's exploration of love in his sonnets extends beyond conventional romantic themes. Sonnets like 20 and 25 delve into the complexities of same-sex love, adding a layer of diversity to his poetic expression. These sonnets challenge societal norms of the time and contribute to a richer understanding of Shakespeare's perspectives on relationships. While symbolism is evident throughout his works, Sonnet 73 stands out for its vivid imagery of aging and mortality. The poet employs the metaphor of autumn to depict the twilight years of life, emphasizing the beauty in decay. This nuanced exploration of mortality adds depth to Shakespeare's thematic repertoire.

In addition to his skepticism about idealized beauty, Shakespeare exhibits a keen awareness of the transient nature of human emotions. Sonnet 64 contemplates the ravages of time on love and beauty, showcasing the poet's philosophical musings on the ephemeral nature of human existence. Shakespeare's sonnets are not merely romantic expressions but also serve as a reflection of the political climate of his time. Sonnet 66, for instance, subtly addresses the political turmoil of the Elizabethan era, offering a glimpse into the poet's concerns about the stability of the realm.

The sonnets collectively form a narrative that goes beyond individual emotions, capturing the zeitgeist of the Renaissance. Sonnet 76, for instance, hints at the power dynamics between the poet and the patron, shedding light on the complexities of artistic patronage during that era. Shakespeare's mastery extends to the structure of his sonnets. While the majority adhere to the traditional Shakespearean or Petrarchan forms, Sonnet 145 deviates by employing a trochaic meter, showcasing the poet's versatility in experimenting with poetic structures.

In conclusion, Shakespeare's sonnets not only explore the multifaceted nature of love but also delve into themes of mortality, politics, and artistic patronage. The inclusion of diverse perspectives and the experimentation with poetic forms contribute to the enduring richness of his lyrical legacy.


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