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Shakespeare'S Sonnets

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Shakespeare's sonnets are often considered by the public to be the most beautifully expressed poetry of all time. Shakespeare uses many techniques to illustrate his poetry, but none of them are more effective than his use of imagery. Sonnet's 18 and 73 are excellent examples. Shakespeare's imagery and metaphors are significant in conveying the theme of the poem as it helps to establish the dramatic atmosphere of the poem and reinforce his argument. Shakespeare uses nature imagery to move towards a consideration of human relationships and also the role of his art.

Shakespeare's sonnets 18 and 73 burst of imagery and metaphors, they alone tell the story and point out the main argument, "the vividness of a poem's language resides primarily in the way it uses imagery" (Gwynn, Campbell). Sonnet 18 is an extended comparison between the season of summer and the speaker's lover. Shakespeare starts the praise of his love without ostentation; "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate" (1). But "he slowly builds the image of his love into that of a perfect being;" (Mabillard), "But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest" (9). Without this brilliant imagery the sonnet, would have been better off never being written, but since Shakespeare did conceive this lovely form of written art, this poem is "certainly the most famous in the sequence of Shakespeare's sonnets; it may be the most famous lyric poem in English." (Phillips). In sonnet 73 metaphors such as "Upon those boughs which shake against the cold" (3) and "Death's second self, that seals up all in rest" (8), grasp and dominate the poem, as to give effect of being dominated by the old cold season .

Shakespeare starts off with both sonnets conveying a specific time of year, where nature and its seasons are the main idea used to express his emotional thought. Imagery is by far Shakespeare's most effective way to express and illustrate the mood and ambiance of his poems. The significance of the poems stresses the beauty or lack thereof through the metaphors of nature. Shakespeare refrains from using similes in both these sonnets, emphasizing the importance of the season in order to best understand why it is similar to the person he is trying to paint by comparison. Sonnets 18 and 73 are also straightforward in language and intent, the intention of the poems is immediately addressed and wittingly absorbs the reader into the poems, thinking the poems are obvious in their intention but in the third quatrains turn to be quite the contrary and Shakespeare implies that something is to be learned from "this" (the poem).

Shakespeare's sonnets 18 and 73 are not only similar in their imagery and intricate sentence structure, but also use imagery to imply the significance of a human relationship that the poems convey. In sonnet 18, Shakespeare begins the poem using nature to paint an image of the woman he loves by indicating the objective reality that the season of summer is as beautiful as she, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" (1), however his purpose is to paint nature's unpleasant beauty, "Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May" (3), to exemplify her inner beauty and his true love for her, neglecting all else beautiful summer might have to offer, for she has much more. In sonnet 73 Shakespeare uses nature to sketch a visual representation of an aging man, "In me thou seest the twilight of such day" (5), whose years are quickly moving along and ravaged by time towards the inevitability of death, "Which by and by black night doth take away" (7), comparing him to the dreary cold of winter, however Shakespeare's intention is to sketch the

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