Shakespeare Sonnets


Sonnet12 refers to the quick passing of time in reference to humanmortality. The speaker recommends humans to embrace procreation as amethod of ensuring their continuity once they pass away. The firstand second lines allude to a day turning into a night, which meanstime passage. In lines 3 and 4, the narrator refers to the wiltingstage of flower, which is a metaphor associating nature withhumankind, or drift of time. Line 4 also insinuates the passage ofyouthfulness through the juxtaposition of the image of a wiltingstage of a flower to the black hair turning gray naturally (a symbolgrowing old). The image also intends to warn the youths to procreatequickly before they attain advanced age.

Thespeaker proceeds to speak about the passage of seasons. He comparesthe youthfulness to the beauty of “summergreen”and then the old age to the barrenness of the snow and winter &quotthebier with white and bristly beard.&quotThe narrator emphasizes the passage of time using the differentseasons and then wishes the youth can learn that they will onlyensure the continuity of their generation through procreation. Thelast two lines of the sonnet summarize the significance of humansextending their mortality through procreation. &quotAndnothing `gainst Time`s scythe can make defense / Save breed, to bravehim when he takes thee hence.&quot

Sonnet12 combines attractive vowels and alliteration to achieve musicalquality. For example, the word “save” and “brave” formslyrical alliteration in line 14. The sonnet also uses interlockingrhyme to achieve a musical effect. For instance, the words “time”and “prime” in line one and three rhyme. The position of thesonnet, number 12, is symbolic of the clock.

InSonnet 20, the speaker opens it with appreciating the beauty of a manwho he asserts has the natural beauty of a woman. He proceeds toconfess that he has a crash on him in line 2. /Hastthou, the master-mistress of my passion/.In line 3, he explains that he feel romantic passion for hisman-friend because he has the characteristics of women such asindecisiveness, but he differs from regular women because he is moreintelligent and sincerely than common women. In line 7 and 8, thespeaker showers the subject with praises that he attracts both menand women with his physical beauty. “/Muchsteals men`s eyes and women`s souls amazeth./”The speaker expresses strong passion for his man friend when heasserts he was intended to be a woman, as well as a source for hispleasure, but nature mistakenly added one thing (the manhood) thatprevents him from having him. “/Andby addition me of thee defeated/”. In line 13, the speaker accepts that his crash is intended for thepleasures of women, but closes the sonnet with a pun that he shouldaccept his love. “/Minebe thy love and thy love`s use their treasure./” The pun insinuates gayism and suggests that the man should letwomen just admire his attractive physique while the speaker shouldhave his physical love – a suggestion that he is a homosexual.

Sonnet20 also uses alternating rhyme to achieve musical effect. Forexample, the word ‘painted’ in line 1 rhymes with ‘acquainted’in line 3. Secondly, the sonnet uses consonance, such as‘/master-mistressof my/’in line 2,to achieve lyrical effect. Thirdly, it also uses assonance sounds.For example, the line 8 – ‘/Whichstealsmen’s eyes and women’s souls amazeth/’-has a lyrical effect created by the vowel voices. Similarly, thespeaker also uses alliteration to enhance rhythm. For example, thewords “men’s eyes” in line 8 alliterate. He closes the sonnetwith a metaphorical pun as he requests the subject to accept his lovewhile just letting the women to use his body as a mere treasure.