WHAT IS A SONNET?14 linesOctaveSestetPrescribed rhyme schemeConcerned with single thought or sentimentShakespearian sonnet and Italian sonnet.
Octave rhymescheme = abbaabbaSestet = cdecdeOctave presents theme in first quatrain, develops in secondSestet reflects upon theme in first three and brings it to close in the second three lines.
Allows for break between octave and sestetComposed in three quatrains and final clinching coupletAbab, cdcd, efef, gg
1.Let me not to the marriage of true minds2.Admit impediments. Love is not love3.Which alters when alteration finds,4.Or bends with the remover remove.5.O, no, it is an ever-fixed mark6.That looks on tempests and is never shaken;7.It is the star to every wand'ring bark,8.Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.9.Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks10.Within his bending sickle's compass come;11.Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,12.But bears it out even to the edge of doom.13.If this be error and upon me proved,14.I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
SONNET 116 - COMMENTARYSonnet 116 is about love in its most ideal form. It is praising the glories of lovers who have come to each other freely, and enter into a relationship based on trust and understanding The first four lines reveal the poet's pleasure in love that is constant and strong, and will not "alter when it alteration finds." The following lines proclaim that true love is indeed an "ever-fix'd mark" which will survive any crisis
During the wedding service the priest says: If any of you know cause or just impediment why these two persons should not be joined together in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace.
2. Love is not love3. Which alters when alteration finds,4. Or bends with the remover remove.Interpretation 1Love isn't really love if it changes when it sees the beloved change or if it disappears when the beloved leaves.Interpretation 2Love is not loveWhich changes when it finds a change in circumstances,Or bends from its firm stand even when a lover is unfaithful:
Love is not love: love is not really love
Or bends with the remover remove : i.e., deviates ("bends") to alter its course ("remove") with the departure of the lover
5. O, no, it is an ever-fixed mark6. That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
Oh no, love is a constant and unchanging light that shines on storms without being shaken;
Oh no! it is a lighthouseThat sees storms but it never shaken;storms
It is an ever-fixed mark:: i.e., a lighthouse (mark = sea-mark). :
In lines 7-8, the poet claims that we may be able to measure love to some degree, but this does not mean we fully understand it. Love's actual worth cannot be known it remains a mystery.7.It is the star to every wand'ring bark,8.Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.barkWandring - sailing around on the ocean.
7. It is the star to every wand'ring bark,8. Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
It is the star that guides every wandering boat. And like a star, its value is beyond measure, though its height can be measured.
Love is the guiding north star to every lost ship,Whose value cannot be calculated, although its altitude can be measured.
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Definition: i.e., the star that guides every lost ship (guiding star = Polaris).
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
The subject here is still the north star.
The star's true value can never truly be calculated, although its height can be measured.
9. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks10. Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love is not under time's power, though time has the power to destroy rosy lips and cheeks.
Love is not at the mercy of Time, though physical beautyComes within the compass of his sickle.
Time leads to old age.Time is addressed as a person, therefore it is an example of personification
Example of Apostrophe: Time is abstract but is addressed directly as if it is a person.Sickle: Death carries a sickle and harvests the people who are to old to keep on living. Rosy lips and cheeks this photo shows the effect of time on a face that had rosy cheeks and red lips
10. Within his bending sickle's compass come
Definition: i.e., physical beauty falls within the range ("compass") of Time's curved blade. Note the comparison of Time to the Grim Reaper, the scythe-wielding personification of death
Love's not Time's fool : i.e., love is not at the mercy of Time.his: i.e., Time'sPhysicalBeautyTime does not influence the intensity of the love.Love does not change as time goes by.
The remaining lines of the third quatrain (9-12), reaffirm the perfect nature of love that is unshakeable throughout time and remains so "ev'n to the edge of doom", or death
11. Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,12. But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
Love does not alter with the passage of brief hours and weeks, but lasts until Doomsday.
Love does not alter with hours and weeks,But, rather, it endures until the last day of life.Alter = change
edge of doom. : i.e., Doomsday.
The end of the world
In the final couplet, the poet declares that, if he is mistaken about the constant, unmovable nature of perfect love, then he must take back all his writings on love, truth, and faith. Moreover, he adds that, if he has in fact judged love inappropriately (incorrectly), no man has ever really loved in the ideal sense that the poet talks about.
13. If this be error and upon me proved,14. I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
If I'm wrong about this and can be proven wrong, I never wrote, and no man ever loved. If I am proved wrong about these thoughts on loveThen I recant all that I have written, and no man has ever [truly] loved.
If this be error and upon me proved :
If I am wrong about love and someone proves it:
Metaphor line 1: true minds
Two people who love each other and wants to get married is compared with having true or honest feelings in their minds
Alliteration line 2: Love is not love.
Repetition of the letter L
Assonance line 3: Which alters when alteration finds.
Repetition of the letter A.
Metaphor line 5: Love is an ever fixed mark.
Love is like a star, something that never moves,
Personification line 6: that looks on tempests.
A fixed mark cannot look. Look is a human quality and a fixed mark is something dead.
Metaphor line 7:It is the star to every moving bark.
Love is like the star that gives direction to every moving ship.
PersonificationApostrophe line 9:
Time is personified because it is written with a capital letter and addressed as if it is a person.
Metaphor line 10:
Time is like a bending sickle where the bending sickle refers to the sickle death uses to reap the death.