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Sonnet 130 and Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

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    The poems “Sonnet 18” and “Sonnet 130” were first published in 1609 and were written by William Shakespeare. The “Sonnet 18” and “Sonnet 130” have no titles that are the reason that they have a number (for example 18 and 130) for the poems. The number was based on the order in which the poems were first published in 1609. These poems are two of one hundred fifty four poems written by Shakespeare. The poems consist of fourteen lines that is divided into two parts. One is an opening octet with eight lines, and the other one is a closing sestet with six lines.

    Shakespeare uses many poetic devices in both poems, which include end and internal rhyme, consonance, assonance, metaphors, repetition, symbolism, personification and alliteration. Both poems talk about love/relationships with a delight tone. Sonnet 18 is plainly about the relationship between man and nature/season. He started the poem with an imagery question, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? ” (line 1). Then Shakespeare started painting the picture. For example, he said, “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” (line 3) meaning the strong winds will wipe out the flower buds.Another example would be, “And summer’s lease hath all too short a date” (line 4) is describing how the summer is too short. Next, the summer temperature is described as hot in lines five and six. Finally, “And every fair from fair sometimes declines” (line 7) refers to everything beautiful must end. In the Sonnet 18, Shakespeare uses alliteration, which is words repeating one or more letters at the beginning of a word in the same line. One example of alliteration would be, “hot”, “heaven” in line 5. Another, in line 7, is “Fair” and”From” and “Fair”.

    Next, is in line 8 “chance” and “changing”, and “course”. Another, in line 14, is “long” and “lives” and “life”. Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds. One example of assonance would be, “compare” and “summers”, in line 1. Next, in line 3,”rough”, “buds”. Finally, in line 14 “lives”, “This”. Consonance means that the final consonants agree. One example of consonance would be, in line 9, is “eternal”, “shall”. Another would be, “complexion”, “sometimes” in (line 6 and 7). There is also some end rhyme in the poem. One example is “day” (line 1) rhymes with “May” in line 3.Also, “fade” (line 9) rhymes with “shade” in line 11.

    Some internal rhymes were also used in the poem. One example would be, “do” (line 3) rhymes with “too” (line 4), and “lives” (line 14) rhymes with “gives” in line 14. Some repetition in the poem are “nor’’ and “nor” (line 10 and 11) and “so long” and “so long” (line 13 and 14). Personification is giving human or animate characteristics to something that is not alive. One example of personification would be, “darling buds” (line 3) giving human being attributes to a flower.Another, in line 4 “and summer’s lease hath all too short a date” treats summer like leasing a piece of property. Finally, in line 5 is “eye of heaven shines. Onomatopoeia is words that sound like their meanings.

    Two examples of onomatopoeia would be, “rough” and “shake” in line. Sonnet 130 is another love poem that expresses the love for a woman. Shakespeare use very strong imagery in the Sonnet 130. He started the poem talking about a mistress in the first line. “Coral is far more red than her lips’ red” (line 2) is another clear image that he is talking about a woman.Line 3 is talking about a woman’s breasts, which reinforce the theme of the poem. “If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head,” (line 4) a person could only imagine long black hair. “Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks” (line 8) paint the picture that she has bad breath.

    “I grant I never saw a goddess go”, (lines 11 and 12) “My mistress when she walks treads on the ground”, talks about a natural women walking like a goddess. In the Sonnet 130, Shakespeare use alliteration. One example of alliteration would be, “why” and “white” in line 3. Next, in line 10, is “music” and “more”. Finally, in line 12 is “when” and “walk”. Assonance is also present in the poem. Two examples of assonance would be, (“no”, “roses”), and (“see”, “cheeks”) in line. In addition, another in line 5 “seen” to (line 6) “see”.

    There is some consonance in the poem also. One example is “coral”, “more” (in line 2). In line 6, “but”, and “such” is an example of internal rhymes. The poem has end rhymes at the end of every line. For example, “sun” at the end of (line 1) rhymes with “dun” at the end of line. Next, “white” at the end of (line 5) rhymes with “delight” at the end of line 7. Finally, these ends both rhymes “rare” (line 13) and “compare” (line 14). One example of personification would be “black wires grow on her head” in line.

    Since, Shakespeare wrote “Sonnet 18” and “Sonnet 130”, they both have a traditional English sonnet format, and for the most part structured in the same way. Both poems have a single stanza of fourteen lines, ordered into three quatrains of four lines followed by a concluding single couplet of two ines. In addition, both “Sonnet 18 and 130”, contain just ten syllables per line. Another similarity between the sonnets is that there a common rhyme scheme.

    Next, they are written in iambic pentameter. In addition, imagery is present all through both “Sonnet 18 and 130”. On the other hand, there is a difference in “Sonnet 18 and “Sonnet 130”. In “Sonnet 18”, the poem starts the first quatrain with beautiful descriptions admiring the lover. Next, Shakespeare writes about how all the lover beauty declines. Finally yet importantly, in the final quatrain and the couplet, Shakespeare signs off by saying that his sonnet will preserve his lover beauty forever. That is a paraphrase of lines 13 and 14. On the other hand, in sonnet 130 Shakespeare only divides the poem into two sections. The first one includes all three quatrains that describe how horrible and ugly his lover looks. Next, the last two lines show that Shakespeare still loves her, giving the readers a surprising twist.

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    Sonnet 130 and Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare. (2017, May 13). Retrieved from

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