Essay on Sonnet 71 Analysis

Words: 1286
Pages: 6

11 December 2011
William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 71 William Shakespeare is one of the most well-known writers of all time. His sonnets are timeless and his plays are performed again and again. Much of his history is known, but can also be considered a little cloudy. He seemed to be a sarcastic man not necessarily loved by all. I enjoy his plays, but personally love his sonnets best of all. Knowing the controversy surrounding his life, “Sonnet 71” offers a slight insight into all of that. “Sonnet 71” is part of a sequence of sonnets that talk of the love surrounding a young man, then describes a love triangle, and then ends with the talk of a mysterious dark woman. “Sonnet 71” is a typical fourteen line sonnet with
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It is about moving on and forgetting the dead. He is requesting the young man to let his love die, just as the writer has. The couplet at the end of “Sonnet 71” offers a whole new insight, or meaning, to the stanza. Shakespeare changes his tone and describes the previous vile world as wise. He states, “Lest the wise world should look into your moan, and mock you with me after I am gone” (71.13-14). He thinks the people of the world will only make fun of the young man for mourning him or will mock their relationship. It is interesting that Shakespeare would think the man may be mocked, but not comforted. This could mean that Shakespeare did not think highly of himself and figured no one would mourn him, or maybe he lived a secluded life and had only a few close friends. His reference to the wise world is the opposite of his previous description of vile. Wise could be sarcastic for all-knowing and may indicate that they would not understand the young man’s grief or it could mean that his death would be known to all, allowing the world to look in and see the young man’s “moaning” (Shakespeare 71.13-14). Shakespeare’s sexuality has been in question since historians started researching him. He was married and did have three children, one of whom was conceived out of wedlock. His wife was also eight years older than him. Many people believe that Shakespeare was homosexual and that these sonnets describe