Analyzing Themes Of Shakespearean Beauty

1901 Words 8 Pages
Shakespearean Beauty William Shakespeare has written 154 sonnets which have been carefully organized and categorized by people over time; not only did these people sequence his sonnets, numbering each in the order they think he wrote them, they also came to the conclusion that he wrote the first 126 for a young man and the latter 28 for a woman. Shakespeare includes a variety of themes that are consistent throughout the entire series, yet he approaches the themes differently, focusing on different aspects of them. In some cases, Shakespeare even contradicts what he says about a theme in one sonnet in a later sonnet. Through his sonnets, one can see how Shakespeare grows as a person, with his rationale regarding a singular topic, morphing with …show more content…
He “sounds almost resigned that regardless of his own efforts, Time will take his love’s beauty and, eventually, his love’s life” (“Sonnet 19” 15). He views the inspiration of his poem as powerless, yielding to the power of Time. The man who was before too powerful for even nature, is now a man who will be wrinkled by Time and killed by Death. Not only does he view the man the sonnet is written about as weak; he views his love as weak. In “Sonnet 19,” Shakespeare “also suggests that Time has the capacity to ‘rewrite’ the speaker’s love, to represent him in a way the speaker did not intend, as ‘tainted’” (“Sonnet 19” 14-15). Interestingly, when the physical beauty of Shakespeare’s loved one declines, his own love for him declines, making the “beauty” of his love itself decline. Previously he was awestruck by the beauty of this man, as it was something he thought would last forever. Coming to the realization that his love is for something temporary (beauty), his love lessens. Realizing that his love, too, is temporary, takes away from the beauty of his love, making it impure and “tainted.” Permanent things are beautiful —part of its beauty being derived from its power. If something, whether tangible or not, is powerful, one finds more admiration for …show more content…
These poets would necessarily extoll the charms of his eyes, his hands and feet, his lips, and his brow. ” (Shakespeare, William 12). However, according to Shakespeare, they would likely not succeed. This thought of Shakespeare does not surprise the reader since in “Sonnet 18,” Shakespeare claimed, no matter how beautiful the poetic language used is, it could not succeed in describing the beauty of his subject because the beauty of his subject is ineffable. Shakespeare does surprise the reader, though, with his claims of why a poem would not thoroughly describing his love’s beauty in “Sonnet 106,” as it contradicts his reasoning in “Sonnet 18.” He provides a different, unexpected reason for the incompetence of poets to describe the physical beauty of his subject. Initially “the poet claims that the writers of the past were not talented enough to praise the beauty or the merit of the poem's subject” (Shakespeare, William 12). This makes one believe they do not have the rhetorical skills to describe the subject, but that is not the challenge past writers must face to write a poem about the man. The challenge is so difficult that Shakespeare “now counts himself among his

Related Documents