Essay on Communicating Love in Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare

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Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare is one of his better know works of literature. This sonnet aims to define love by communicating what its is and what it is not. Shakespeare makes his point clear from the beggining of the poem: true love does not change even if there are circumstances that stand in its way. Shakespeare then goes onto define what love is by saying what it is not. Love is something that does not change even when it is confronted by tempests. It is not something that comes and goes, but rather is “not Time’s fool”, meaning that it is not subject to the passing of time. Shakespeare also compares love to a star, which sets the tone for the entire poem. The fact that he compares it to a star that guides every human being …show more content…
This word is particularly interesting in regards to this poem because Shakespeare uses it as a way to communicate what true love actually involves. The marriage of true minds is simply a metaphor for true love in which impediments refers to the raw emotion or even hormonal aspect of love. True love must involve the ‘marriage’ of two willing minds in order for it to fulfill the ideals of what true love actually is. After exploring one of the most prominent metaphors in Sonnet 116, we are able to see that Shakespeare is trying to hash out exactly what true love involves, while cutting away all the excess that does not belong. After telling the reader what love is not, he then moves on to define what love is in the second quatrain. At the start of Line 5, he writes, “O no!’ to show that he shifting his approach on the definition of love from negative to positive. After making that exclamation, Shakespeare immediately starts to describe love’s positive qualities rather than defining it by what it is not. It is an “ever-fixed mark”, meaning that love is a ‘mark’ that does not move. There is no indication to what this mark is beyond that fact that it is able to weather storms without being disturbed. However, Shakespeare gives an indication to what this mark is in the second half of the quatrain by equating it to a star. While he does not say specifically what star he is referring to, there is only one star that never moves –

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