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An Analysis of Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare

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Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

The sonnet ‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds’ of William Shakespeare describes the meaning of eternal love, that its not altered by external influences as well as time.The author(setting) might be in some state of mind, an ideal state of mind, he might be inloved with someone or having any uncomfortable love situation that somehow creates a vivid scene of his feelings.The author’s techniques are quite explicit, he uses metaphors for describing his feelings as well as comparisons, alliterations, and imagery(love as a guiding star). The Speaker of this sonnet is man that is deeply inloved that finds the true meaning of marriage that love is eternal and does not corrupt over time.The occasion is when the man realizes he is deeply inloved with his companion, about the audience it might be the person he loves or he might be showing his love for her so everyone can read.The purpose is to make the loved one know how deeply he feels about her and that his love is unconditional.

The subject is the eternal love he feels for her, his passion,excitement, the way she makes him feel his deep appreciation for her.The tone of the sonnet is convencive ,persuasive, challenging, passionate(oh no),concrete. They are several key verses throughout the sonnet, the very first line ‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds’ means that love is meant for two and a 3rd member shouldnt be allowed in. Second and third lines as well mean that love is not love if it changes when an alteration comes along,the fourth line ‘O no! it is an ever-fixed mark’ refers to an everlasting love.’Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks’ the 9th line means that love doesnt fade over time. ‘Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom’ means that love is not Marriage is presented in the backround of the poem, as the bond between two true minds refers as well to the faithfullness,forgiveness and equality in true love.

The poem also uses the idea of love as a guiding star using figurative languague, as something unchangeable, unbreakeable, true.Shakespeare refers also in lines 6-7-8 to the challenges that a relationship might face. In the 10th line the author ‘sickle’s compass come’ as to remember the time is passing, and in the last lines he uses alliteration to stablish that the passing of Time has no effect whatsoever upon true love. In conclusion, the sonnet can be described as a description of an unchanging feeling in the author that might or might not be autobiographical, refering to love as a guiding light above a troubled world and that true love always perseveres, despite any obstacles that may arise.It also offers a different optimistic definition of love, seen as unstoppable.

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