Sonnet 25 Analysis English 10 2014

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Analysis of Shakespeare's 25th sonnet


Jennifer EvansMs. GardnerEnglish 10, Period 217 Sep 2014

Sonnet 25: Analysis

In Sonnet 25, immortal love triumphs over the fatal need for pride: through verse, the poet emerges victorious against this deadly vanity. In the opening quatrain, William Shakespeare employs the power of assonance in the line Of public honour and proud titles boast (25.2). The short vowel sounds mirror the short lived power of aristocrats. In the second quatrain, Shakespeares simile The marigold at the suns eye (25.6) parallels the sun to an upper class individuals and the marigold to the pride that they constantly consume. It also reveals how insignificant their pride actually is; a marigold is virtually nothing when its size is compared to the sun. In the final quatrain, an allusion to a successful warrior who loses in battle further contributes to the assertion that pride is vulnerable. This warrior, who is famous for his fighting ability, After a thousand victories once foild,/ Is from the book of honour razed quite (25.10-11). In essence, it only took one loss, one mistake, to demote a valiant hero into a man whose achievements were erased from the books and minds of those whom he had once been equal to. The final couplet contains repetitive diction. The phrases love and am beloved and remove nor be removed (25.14-15) echo the authors understanding that the requited affection between himself and his companion supersedes his affliction for glory. Ultimately, it is because of this that their love, unlike the pride of other, more elite, citizens, will never die out, therefore becoming everlasting and indestructible.