Shakespeare's Sonnet 9 A Closer Look

893 words - 4 pages

The Shakespearean sonnet takes on many distinguishing qualities. The dialectic qualities of conflict/harmony balance are an important piece in adding understanding with the poem. This poem has arising conflicts from the beginning and takes aim at companionship at its worst. With only fourteen lines in a sonnet's length, it would appear that one could not peruse his work. On the contrary, Shakespeare's sonnets have more depth to it than meets the eye. I will speak about language, tone, imagery, and theme in Shakespeare's composition of sonnet 9.Language is the most interesting aspect in this work. The opening line states, "Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye/That thou consum'st thyself in single life?" The letter "w" is used extensively to emphasize widow and wife as the female/woman focal points of the sonnet. Shakespeare also added many "w" words threaded through it for effect.The use of "m" words, all of which relate to the male subject, alludes to the opposite gender of the subject to a prospective wife, but also the marital state opposite to what the subject ought to be in. In line 3, "Ah, if thou issueless shalt hap to die, /The world will wail thee like a makeless wife." The subject being issueless causes a prospective wife to be makeless, without the required husband: The use of w and m continues:The world will be thy widow, and still weepThat thou no form of thee hast left behind,When every private widow well may keepBy children's eyes her husband's shape in mind"W" usage diminishes whilst the "m" usage increases in conclusion. "No love toward others in that bosom sits/ That on himself such murd'rous shame commits." The conclusion was very critical linguistically, because he is ultimately encouraging men to father children. This occurs most likely because of gender roles during that time. In which case the masculine figure was domineering and must conclude the sonnet with this gender heavy topic.Along with language, tone takes on a very important role in shaping this sonnet. Shakespeare takes the idea of marriage and creates a somber feel to the poem. Marriage in this poem is taken as something that is of great fear, whereas in most cases the thought of marriage is of joy. The beginning of the poem where Shakespeare states, "Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye." Shakespeare compares death to marriage at the onset, thus giving the poem a somber effect.The establishment of tone continues with his use of simile and metaphor. This adds depth to the sonnet which allowed the poem to be very engaging. In back to back lines he uses simile accompanied by...

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