The Sonnet and Form


Each format greatly affects ones poem and the chosen theme. The sonnet has clear thought divisions and the theme of love is a good choice for a short poem. Shakespeare uses good sound devices to epitomize the theme and form. This Shakespearean sonnet by William Shakespeare is a good example of how the sonnet form is complimentary to the theme.
In this Shakespearean sonnet, the form conforms to the original format. Both the original and this poem have three quatrains and a concluding couplet and have a clear thought division about half way through the sonnet.
"And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature\'s changing course, untrimm\'d.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade" (lines 7-9)
This type of poetry suites the subject Shakespeare has chosen to write about because each quatrain has a different means to compare the subject to a summer\'s day and about half way through, Shakespeare changes and decides that the subject is better than a summer\'s day. The sonnet is essentially made up of two different parts, the first being the problem and the second part being an answer. The theme that Shakespeare has chosen is love and this theme works well with the sonnet format. The first half of this sonnet is written about how the subject is like a summer\'s day, for example: "Thou art more lovely and more temperate:" (line 2) and after line eight, Shakespeare concludes that the subject cannot be a summer\'s day because they are more beautiful and will last longer than summer itself. The sonnet form is suitable for this theme because it allows the direct comparison of the subject to a summer\'s day, and the thought division allows the author to change his mind and reconsider the comparison.
Shakespeare uses many sound devices in this sonnet. The sound devices exemplify the theme and the form. In line eleven, Shakespeare writes, "Nor shall death brag thou wanderest in his shade,." This is a solid example of euphanism. Euphanism is important in a line such as this in a love poem because one cannot just say, \'You will not die.\' A love poem is supposed to be soft and suggestive and one who was blunt would end the theme. Shakespeare also uses extended metaphors. "And summer\'s lease hath all too short a date:" (line 4) is an excellent example of the extended metaphor. Not only is Shakespeare personifying the summer by giving it a lease as a store might have, but he extends the image of a lease beyond that which it is normally felt to be. A lease is usually thought to be for only a short time, however, Shakespeare carries the length further as if to say that ones life is only a lease of ones body. These two sound devices show off the way the sonnet fits the theme.
The choice of the sonnet form by the author was a suitable one because he could use the characteristics of the sonnet to his advantage to create a specific situation. This helps to show how strongly the author feels about the subject. The four quatrains of the Shakespearean sonnet show different ways of comparing the subject to another. The thought division allows the author to show what the subject is and what it is not. To demonstrate the way the form fits the theme, sound devices are good aides to the author. The poem fits the sonnet form because the author wants to show how definite his feelings are for the subject and how the subject is not just an inanimate object but more than that because one is alive and will live forever,even after the death of one because of memories written within the poem.

Category: English