Sonnet 18

One may suggest that William Shakespeare is one of the greatest writers and playwrights of all time, and Shakespeare’s sonnets add to the collection of his elaborate works. Throughout his Sonnets, one can analyze that a central theme for this specific piece of writing are different types of romances. William Shakespeare uses this constant theme of love as a central tool; when using this central tool of love, he describes different types of relationships between a beautifully described young man known for his youth and the speaker; the young man, himself, and the dark lady. The sonnets also carry deep themes of fears of mortality and ageing. There are often also themes of his of what some may call homosexuality because of his constant criticism towards women suggesting that the female sex sustain no faith and are susceptible to betray the male sex at any given moment. Shakespeare’s constant praise for the male sex such as suggesting males obtain a pure demeanor and are loyal also suggest a homosexual theme. W. Shakespeare, but thiscould simply just be an appreciation for a man’s loyal friendship and platonic love. Overall, one can summarize the sonnets as a constant struggle of love a man has within himself, nature, and society. One of the sonnets that I found most interesting was Sonnet nineteen. To be completely candid, I found this specific piece of writing very relatable because it discusses mortality, but in a way that time has no effect on the youth while still the youth will eventually fall to times effects. For example, in the sonnet the author declares:

O! carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.

This not only suggests that the youth’s life will be eternal, but that he will stay in youth forever and the ides of time will have effect on him; suggesting that the character will be forever beautiful while leaving everyone else is left to the ravages of time. The author then suggests in this writing excerpt that even though this concept of eternal beauty and youth will become susceptible to the decrepit ides of time, even suggesting that time do it’s worst on the youth. Though the youth become susceptible to aging, the poet celebrates this youth’s beauty and his love for him. One will find this relatable because most of society has a constant craving for feeling and looking forever young and why not? Most feel as if youth is the peak and highest time of one’s life. I personally can relate to this because it is not that I fear ageing, it is everything that comes along with growing closer to death that startles me such as more responsibility. The most important aspect that one, including myself, can take away from this poem is that even though death and ageing is inevitable; do not get caught up in the fact that it is no longer taking place. Take the rest of time to celebrate and reflect on one’s own youth and accomplishments. Celebrate one’s own past beauty and current beauty for what it is now; suggesting that although beauty and youth are not eternal, but love and the celebration of one’s past beauty is eternal. The past beauty sustained an eternal love for him.

~Kordell Young




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