William Shakespeare Dark Lady Sonnets

William Shakespeare and the Shakespearean Sonnets

William Shakespeare, one of the most talented writers of literature, was involved in the creation of poems, novels, and a wide range of other literary genres. The sonnets, which he penned in short fourteen-line lyrics, are the most frequently mentioned. They lived during the Italian Renaissance, therefore the concept of love was prevalent at the period. The Shakespearean sonnet is a famous form that is used in a series of poems with the author's purpose of developing themes. The classification of the sonnets takes the forms of four parts with the first three began referred to as quatrains and take the ABAB rhyme as the fourth takes the CC rhyme. The analysis thus seeks to review the Shakespearean sonnets to deliberate on the use of traumatic tone, subject shift and the thematic elements of the Dark Lady as referred to be scholars.

The Dark Lady: Dramatic Tone and Conflict of Interest

One of the apparent features in the Dark Lady Sonnets is the element of dramatic tone that involve the characteristic use of one for of drama in the context of conflict or contrast. A sharp contrast in the expression of ideas is apparent in the analysis of Sonnet 131 where the poet begins the poem by describing that the mistress is unattractive in the first four lines. After the first question though, he defends her remarks and acknowledges that the lady is nothing but lovely. The dramatic effect is also evident towards the end of the poem when the author states that despite the low character, he is infatuated by the woman. There is an element of conflict of interest the Dark Lady where the poet seems to be literally begging the woman to have sex with him and wonders what other men have that he does not have. The wording of the statements makes it dramatic because it appears that the poet is not unable to control himself and it can be assumed that he is in a dramatic mode. It is stated, “Shall will in others seem right gracious, And in my will no fair acceptance shine” (Shakespeare, Sonnet 135, 6). The poet’s greatest question, possibly out of range is that he is wondering what makes other men’s organs satisfy the woman that his cannot.

The Dark Lady: Love and Affection

The Dark Lady also feature a deep connection to the theme of love that is apparent in a majority of the poems in this section. In Sonnet 132 the poet exemplifies the feelings about love, even though it is presented in a way that depicts that there is a lack of it. The poem explores the lack of affection by the woman to the poet and he tells this by the fact that there is disaffection in her eyes. The author states, “Have put on black and loving mourners be, / Looking with pretty ruth upon [his] pain” (Shakespeare, Sonnet 131, 3). The theme of love also takes a different approach later in the Dark Lady where it appears that the poet is complaining that despite the mistress having any lovers, who he refers to as Wills, she does no love him in return. It is stated, “So thou, being rich in Will, add to thy Will / One will of mine to make thy large Will more.\" Employing the image of the sea as a simile of the woman” (Shakespeare, Sonnet 135, 10). It emphasizes the fact that that the Dark Lady is primarily about the love that exist between the poet and the mysterious woman.

Subject Shift: From Affection to Infidelity

The last feature that is worth describing is the subject shift that involves making a sharp diversion from one topic of interest to another that is unrelated to the previous one. The sharp diversion is apparent in very rare instances in the poems because the poem area about expressing specific element of the association between the poet and the Dark Lady. Sonnet 138 is an example of a section that features the discord because while the poet begins with the deliberation of the lady’s character and how he adores her, he ends the poem talking about the woman’s infidelity. The main theme in the last two lines are focused on the fact that despite having sex, there is infidelity in their relationship. It is stated, “Therefore I lie with her, and she with me, And in our faults by lies we flattered be” (Shakespeare, Sonnet 135, 10). The impression that the reader gets, therefore, is that of a relationship between two people who are supposedly in love but there is a sharp contrast to what constitutes love as characterized by the woman’s cheating character.

Summary of the Dark Lady Sonnets

In summary, the Dark Lady is a collection of poems that focus on the man’s desire for the woman. The major theme is on love and affection as the an openly expresses his deep desire to have the lady. The coverage is, however, presented in a dramatic fashion on many instances as it is apparent that there are sharp contrasts and elements of conflict that feature the poems. The last significant feature of the paper is the use of subject where the poet moves from moment of having affection to describing how the woman is fond of infidelity.

Step 2: Answering Questions

Sonnet 129

Question 1: The poem talks about the human mind and the desires that it features. The primary theme is the subject of sexuality and the human nature. The poem ends with the poet challenging the reader to question their personal sexual desires.

Question 2: The speaker of the poem is unknown and can only be described as a person who is having an internal urge and meditating about his sexuality. I would describe the personal as someone who is unable to control his desires and ends up become a victim of his sexual urges.

Question 3: The tone of the poem is unrest because the persona shows that they are sincere with the expression that they are making regarding the feelings they are experiencing. The words that can be used to embody this feature are “Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme” (Shakespeare, Sonnet 129, 10). However, there is no element of irony in the poem.

Question 4: The connotative words used are savage are perjured. The ones that have unusual meanings are bliss because usually it means reaching a desired level of happiness. However, it is not used in the poem to denote happiness. The word that I needed to look up was perjured.

Question 5: The image that is used in the poem constitutes is carnal. The use of the words bloody is meant to create an impression of a canal language and deep sexual desire. The use of images is apparent in the consideration of the other words including savage and rude, which are used to denote extreme feelings.

Question 6: The figure of speech used in the poem is reversal of orders. The poet says “A bliss in proof and proved, a very woe; / Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream” (Shakespeare, Sonnet 129, 11). The use of the reversal technique is meant to achieve a greater effect of the antithesis.

Question 7: There are symbols used in the poem are used to illustrate the fact that the lust could have adverse effects on one’s physical and psychological health. The words used to express this are savage, blood, and rude. They are not universal symbols but are only used in the poem to pass the message to the reader.

Question 8: The occasion and setting of the poem is critical in the process of understanding the poem because it ensures that the reader is in a position to relate with the poet’s state in the writing process to understand how they feel. Thus, through the understanding of the sexual experiences that the author has gone through in his life it is possible for the reader to understand the poem.

Question 9: The theme of the poem is the internal mediation process of involving someone who has deep feelings and having extreme desires that make the express themselves sexually. The message thus involves the experience that a lustful man shares with the reader about their state.

Question 10: The sound effect that is used is repetition and it serves to past experience that the poet had. It is stated, “Past reason hunted, and no sooner had; Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait” (Shakespeare, Sonnet 129, 6). The impression, therefore, is that the poet intended that reader to focus on the fact that he had undergo the experience in the past.

Question 11: The overall form of the poem is relevant because it ensures that there is brevity and precision in expressing ideas. It ensures that the reader gets the overall effect of the poem because it is easier to spot and experience the sound effects.

Sonnet 130

Question 1: The poem is about the experiences that the poet deploys about herself rather than the lover. It presents the ideal beauty that was usually a conventional way of referring to the art in England. The beauty is comparable with other external features that are related using metaphor.

Question 2: The speaker of the poem is the woman who is deliberating about her beauty and relished the opportunity to express herself. I would describe the persona as someone who is interested in expressing their deep motivations and pride.

Question 4: The connotative words used in the poem constitutes the mention of coral. Thus, the word that I was prompted to search was coral because it usage was odd because it natural used to refer to the sea objects.

Question 5: The image that the author uses in the poem is the sun, that is used to refer to the fact that the mistress’ eyes were glowing. The use of images in the poem changes the theme of the poem to one that is engaging the mind to reason that some of the words meant.

Question 6: Sonnet 30 uses figures of speech with the most apparent being the inclusion of simile. The author sates that “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” (Shakespeare, Sonnet 130, 12). The use of this feature ensures that the message of the author is delivered and given emphasis.

Question 7: Symbolism is used sparing in the essay with the authors approach ensuring that he only when it is necessary because a large part of the work is intended to be descriptive. The author states, “…black wires grow on her head” (, Sonnet 130, 4). The mention of the word black wires creates the impression of hair growing on the head.

Question 8: The setting of the poem features a scenario where the mistress is deliberating on her experiences and her personality. It is important in the understanding of the meaning of the poem because it ensures that the reader can relate with the mistress in her natural and beautiful state.

Question 9: The theme that the poem underscores in the writing of sonnet 130 is that of the content of ideal beauty that is the convention of literature and art. It underscores the important of praising the beauty of a woman as it as common with the Queen.

Question 10: the use of metrics is considered in the poem and is expressed through the use of rhyme where there are alternating word that end with similar sounds in the whole poem. It is a stylistic technique that is intended at ensuring that the message is delivered and make the audience anticipate for more through prediction.

Question11: the overall effect of form is significant in the writing of the poem because it ensures that the poem is directed at the reader in concise manner. The overall effect is, therefore, structured in a way that promotes a poetic convention.

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William. Sonnets. Pushkin Press London, 2013.

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