Hi, today I want to talk to you about the representation of love featured in Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 and outline the two poetic devices which support this representation. We should start with the author first. I know that everyone in the class knows who Shakespeare is so I will just tell you that he was an Elizabethan poet and playwright. He wrote a total of 154 sonnets in his lifetime, as during the time he lived there was the courtly love tradition and love for women was expressed through sonnets and poetry. He is probably the most well-known writer in the world.
I am now going to talk to you about the form of love represented in this sonnet. The type of love represented is eternal, although the poem is not about the supposed lover. There are only two lines in this poem which describes the lover which are at the beginning of the octet “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate,” the rest of this poem fails to mention him/her. If it was truly about a lover then she/him would have been the subject throughout.
The two poetic devices that support this are: Repetition and Alliteration. I will start by talking to you about the repetition in the poem.
Firstly the repetition in the couplet has been used to create emphasis; Shakespeare has purposely done this to show that this section is the most important part of the poem, not the section where he mentions his lover. The repetition of “So Long” is referring to how long the poem will live and not the memory of the lover, because all that we are going to know about them is that they were more temperate than a summers day and this does not resonate with the reader. We don’t remember them do we? Furthermore, the repetition of “thou” in the Quatrain is there so that it appears that Shakespeare is mentioning the lover, although it is evident that he is not really referring to them. This is referring to how once the person is dead that they will live forever through the lines of the poem. At first glance, many of you thought that this was romantic of Shakespeare writing a love sonnet for his lover and incorporating techniques of a blazon, but when analysing the quatrain it is seen that this is not a romantic gesture, but one that was selfish, making the poem and the poet known eternally. The repetition in the quatrain supports this notion. By repeating these words or phrases, “thou” in particular has the lasting impact on the reader that the poet intended and positions the reader to think that the poem is about the lover. As we know from analysing the poem that this is not the case.
Now I will be discussing the 2nd poetic device which backs up the aforementioned theory of…