Themes sonet 116 Sonnet 116 Theme of Love Everyone has a different definition of love, and this sonnet offers an optimistic take on it. Love here is seen as a truly powerful, unstoppable force of nature. Its the only constant in a tumultuous and confusing world, and its a guiding star for all of us who are lost out there. This idealized view of love is timeless and still relevant to culture in our fast-moving 21st century world. Fans of The Princess Bride or more recently, Across the Universe, among gazillions of other examples, will recognize this theme in movies, music, books, blogsor, basically everywhere. Sonnet 116 Theme of Loyalty As far as Sonnet 116 is concerned, loyalty plays a key role in true love actually, the only significant role. The poem asserts that the true marker of love is its persistence; without constant devotion, "love is not love." A lot of difficulties can arise when two people who love each other, but if their feelings are real, none of these things should matter. In the ideal world of the poem, true lovers always forgive each other and stay together, regardless of the circumstances. Sonnet 116 Theme of Mortality Mortality in this poem, if not anywhere else, is a non-issue. While Time is usually seen as a force of destruction, which wreaks havoc with basically everything we mere mortals do, it doesnt have an impact on the true power of Love in this poem. Though age and decay may affect the beauty of a loved one, Sonnet 116 claims that real love perseveres in spite of this, and continues to live on until "the edge of doom" (12), otherwise known as Judgment Day. Sonnet 116 Theme of Literature and Writing We see the problem in logic presented at the end of this poem: the poet boldly dares everyone else to prove his idea of love wrong, saying that if its false, then hell never have written a word. The problem is, he puts this challenge in writing. Clearly we cant possibly deny that he wrote anything, since the poem is right there on the page to prove it, and always will be. Confusing, we knowand also very clever. Hes basically ensuring that nobody can actually step up to the plate and challenge him. By using his own body of work as proof here, the poet makes it impossible for naysayers to claim that hes wrong about love. This also does an interesting thing for poetry itself; by wagering his poems in this challenge, the poet also implies that literature is just as immortal and just as important as love.
Sonnet 116 Love Quotes How we cite the quotes: (line) the marriage of true minds (1) The poet concisely defines his conception of ideal love as a bond between minds, not bodies or souls. love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. (2-4) True love never changes or diminishes, despite any challenges it encounters. The confident certainty of "love is not love" shows us just how sure the poet is of his convictions, and this series of three repetitions emphasizes the negative definitions of love here it doesnt do any of these things. O no! [Love] is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken (5) Love is permanent and unchanging, even though adverse circumstances may arise; this is another sign that the love described here might be more of an ideal than a real-life experience. After all, what relationship can emerge from a huge fight totally unscathed? Loves not Times fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickles compass come (9-10) Time (a.k.a. mortality) doesnt command love, the way a king might command a court jester; instead, love is always more powerful, even though time takes its toll on physical appearance. Love alters not with [Times] brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. (11-12) Again, the poet reiterates that the passing of time doesnt change love, which is eternal. In comparison to the eternal nature of love, Time seems irrelevant and weak. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved. (13-14) If we turn this statement backwards, we see that the fact that people have loved before proves that the poets view of love is right.
Sonnet 116 Loyalty Quotes How we cite the quotes: (line) love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. (2-4)
People who really love each other always will, even if one or both partners change, or if someone tries to come between them.
O no! [Love] is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken (5)
True love isnt affected by "tempests" like arguments or other difficulties; this also implies that forgiveness, in the ideal world the poet invokes here, is totally complete.
Loves not Times fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickles compass come, Love alters not with [Times] brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. (9-12)
True lovers are eternally faithful to each other, perhaps even after death. The "edge of doom" mentioned here could either be seen as the end of an individuals life, or the end of all life in this world or the next Judgment Day.
Sonnet 116 Mortality Quotes Loves not Times fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickles compass come, Love alters not with [Times] brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. (9-12)
Age and death have no bearing upon love; its immortal, and endures until the end of the world.
Sonnet 116 Literature and Writing Quotes If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved. (13-14) The poets own body of work serves as "proof" that his vision of love is the right one.
Sonnet 116 Meaning
The message of this sonnet is simple and straightforward: If a person discovers impediments hampering his relationship with another person, he should not alter his love for that person. On the contrary, his love should remain fixed and constant, like a star that guides ships in a storm. In addition, his love should remain strong even when youth passesin fact, even to the edge of doom.
Sonnet 116 Summary
The poet makes his point clear from line 1: true love always perseveres, despite any obstacles that may arise. He goes on to define love by what it doesnt do, claiming that it stays constant, even though people and circumstances may change. Love never dies, even when someone tries to destroy it. Rather than being something that comes and goes, love is eternal and unchanging so much so that the poet compares it to the North Star, which never moves in the sky and guides lost ships home. This metaphorical star is mysterious and perhaps incomprehensible, even though we can chart its location.
Moving on to a new image, love isnt at the beck and call of time (or times consequences, age and death); mortality isnt an issue for true love, which doesnt fade even when youth and beauty disappear. Love doesnt change as the days go by; rather, it remains strong until the lovers dying day (or beyondchew on that for a while).
Finally, the poet stakes his own reputation on this definition, boldly claiming that if anyone can prove him wrong, hell eat his words. That is to say, if this idea of love turns out to be wrong, then hell take back everything he wrote and itll be as though it never existed. Furthermore, if this specific portrayal of love is somehow proved to be the wrong one, then nobody, as far as the poet is concerned, has ever loved at all.