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Love in Shakespeare's Sonnets


In his poem, 'Scorn not the Sonnet' (Poetical Works, 1827), Wordsworth famously said that the sonnets were the 'key' with which 'Shakespeare unlocked his heart' and whilst this may certainly be observed to be the case, the sonnets do a lot more than that. Writing of various kinds of love, and indeed of love itself, using the contemporary sonnet form, Shakespeare advances the areas of love that your sonnets mirror into an all-encompassing talk on the major styles of life itself that continue to inform and escort the human being condition, a fact which could very well be partly responsible for their continuing level of popularity with both general public and critics equally. This dissertation places out to discover, through close reading of carefully picked representative sonnets and critical framework, just how Shakespeare accomplishes this.

The sonnet form as Shakespeare, whose 154 sonnets were first released in 1609, and his contemporaries used it was created into Great britain in the sixteenth century by Sir Thomas Wyatt who translated sonnets in the Petrarchan form from the original Italian:

As we should expect in a period when he [Shakespeare] was beginning to write the sonnet, allusions to Petrarchism become progressively more common.

(Whitaker, 1953, p. 88)

The Shakespearian or Elizabethan sonnet form differs from the Italian, originally produced by Petrarch in the fourteenth century, principally in form. Both styles are usually made up of fourteen lines but have some other rhyme sequence and framework. The Petrarchan sonnet consists of an octet (a collection of eight lines in which the theme is opened) and the next sestet (which displays on the theme they have unveiled), whilst the Shakespearian is structured in iambic pentameter in three quatrains and a couplet, the three quatrains rhyming in abab form and the ultimate couplet rhyming cc. It is important to understand Shakespeare's structure because it so often displays the theme, with the three quatrains each responding to a different aspect of the sonnet's focus and the couplet usually providing an epigram summing up the idea that your sonnet displays.

Indeed, Shakespeare does not only use the sonnet form in his poems but also within his takes on, incorporating what a contemporary audience would recognise to be evidence of 'true' and even 'holy' love. The most famous example of this is in the first assembly between Romeo and Juliet, written in 1594, where their words are exchanged in sonnet form:


If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the light fine is this: My mouth, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To clean that hard touch with a sensitive kiss.


Good pilgrim, you choose to do wrong your palm too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this; For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.


Havent saints lip area, and holy palmers too?


Ay, pilgrim, lip area that they must use in prayer.


O, then, dear saint, let mouth do what hands do; They pray, grant thou, lest trust consider despair.


Saints do not move, though give for prayers' sake.


Then move not while my prayer's effect I take. (Shakespeare, William. 1954. Romeo and Juliet, Action I, Scene v, p. 30)

This is a fantastic example of the innovative manner in which Shakespeare uses the sonnet form and it is therefore appropriate to look at it in detail in the launch to this dissertation in order showing the aspects of love with that your discussion will be concerned:

From the early poems to the young man of ranking, urging him to marry and have a kid, through the idealising makes an attempt to negate the area of interpersonal difference in the mutuality of 'private' love, to the bitter wit of the 'Will' poems to the dark female, the player-poet looks for to lessen the distance between addresser and addressee that is the very condition of the Petrarchan method. It hasn't escaped commentators or viewers that in Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare represents a moment of reciprocity via the archetype of in commensurability: a sonnet, uniquely shared by Romeo and Juliet in Act 1. (Schalkwyk, 2002. p. 65)

In the first quatrain, Shakespeare has Romeo, who was simply previously infatuated with Rosaline, circumstances we are given to understand that he has often found himself in before this, declare his thoughts in holy imagery which Juliet, in the next quatrain, immediately picks up on and develops. Thus, though inversion of the original male role as director is not removed, Shakespeare products Juliet with an aspect of equality with Romeo, by causing her his similar in wit, a gender specific essential which is situated in both his plays and sonnets similarly. Moreover, in the 3rd quatrain, the enthusiasts share their thoughts and the framework itself, with each taking individual lines of the sonnet. This mutuality displays how the play will establish, with Juliet continuing to develop in durability, and also shows the importance of the bond between what appears to be love and what is true love, associated fundamentally with God, as evidenced by the spiritual imagery of 'pilgrims' and 'saints' as well as perhaps most importantly 'palmers', which signifies one who has made the pilgrimage to Rome. The modern-day audience would recognise this first dialogue between the lovers as emblematic of true love precisely since it is expressed in the sonnet form. Also, Shakespeare establishes the connective between real love and religious beliefs which, as will be seen in the dissertation talk, is another feature of the sonnets all together and even the sonnet form.

The way in which Romeo and Juliet show the sonnet is, as is known above (Schalkwyk, 2002. p. 65), completely different from just how that the older Petrarchan sonnet form implements the structure to handle the theme or indeed 'object' of love. Shakespeare's idea of love as portrayed in the sonnets is actually based upon actuality, human beings interacting or thought to be agent of love without the necessity to involve the thought of 'worship' as is obviously the case with Petrarch's 'Laura'. Although some of the sonnets are dealt with to an mysterious and slightly generically enigmatic girl, referred to as 'the Dark Girl' by critics, the sense of the sonnets having to worry with human being love in every its aspects is usually main, as Shakespeare writes in 'Sonnet CXXX':

I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress, when she strolls, treads on the ground:

(Shakespeare, William. 2003. Shakespeare's Sonnets. ed. Katherine Duncan Jones. p. 375)

This is a thought that he completes by following a bowel with a couplet summation that despite this, or simply because of it, his love is 'as exceptional' as any 'belied with false compare'. It really is clear that love for Shakespeare is as concerned with mankind as much, or even more, than the conception of love and the faraway, silent, 'object' of this love as 'divine'. Thus, the idea that Affectionate love has little to do with love as it really is experienced is another aspect of love with which the sonnets are concerned and which this dissertation will address.

Indeed, one imperative which seeks to involve a less immediate form of love is the idea of Platonic love, or love as a perfect, as indicated in 'Sonnet CXVI': 'Let me never to the relationship of true imagination/Admit impediments' (Shakespeare, William. 2003. Shakespeare's Sonnets. ed. Katherine Duncan Jones. p. 343). It is generally accepted that the first seventeen of the sonnets are attended to to a man and in these Shakespeare becomes more often to the idea that marriage ought to be the object of an man's life. However, he then converts, in sonnets XVIII-CXXVI, to homoerotic expressions of love to a man, diagnosed, simply because of the devotion on the first (possibly unauthorised) publication, by Thomas Thorpe, as 'Mr. W. H. ':

The interpretation of the manifestation 'only begetter' is doubtful. Performed Thorpe imply that Mr. W. H. was the fair children of the sonnets (though upon this reading the dark lady also has a state as a begetter, for some of the sonnets), or was he only the gentleman who offered Thorpe the manuscript--Mr. William Harvey perhaps, who in 1598 married the widowed mother of Lord Southampton? The manuscript can only have come in one in the innermost circle of those who realized Shakespeare and his commendable good friend. If Southampton was the good friend, William Harvey may have been the 'only begetter. ' (Alexander & Nisbet, 1935, p. 94)

Like the 'Dark Female', the son is not discovered within the sonnets and the positioning of his identity has similarly exercised scholars over the generations. However, although it is obviously true that spurious recognition is of transferring interest:

The personality of the good youth matters a lot more to prospects who believe that the poems grew from personal experience than to those who think that they are really poetic fictions, inspired more by sonneteering convention than by life. (Bate, 2008, pp. 41-2)

Bate's point is well-taken since the actual individuality of the thing of love is indeed much less important for an appreciation of the sonnets than their importance as representative of areas of love:

Somehow the poems convince each audience that what he or she sees in them is exactly what is actually there. But somehow they then sneak up behind you and encourage you of something completely different. (Bate, 2008, p. 43)

It might be argued, in simple fact, that precisely as a result of insufficient knowledge regarding the person to whom the sonnets are dealt with, readers have made a generic connective with them across the decades which is cathartic in its anonymity:

How do we less mortals know to perform our lesser wonders of life? Again we face the enigma of most creation, which Shakespeare himself has simply accepted and has nowhere attempted to explain. That which was there when there is nothing? And exactly how does indeed something more permanently come from something less? If the creation be instantaneous, in six days, or in aeons of age ranges the magic is believe it or not. And in it we live, and move, and also have our being. As well as perhaps, alas!, have in us too little of the poet to see that there surely is any miracle by any means. (Baldwin, 1950, p. 384)

Thus, the average person biographical areas of the sonnets, though appealing, can never be a primary informative and this may, indeed, be beneficial, as we shall hope to see.

Chapter One: 'The Matrimony of True Minds'

Little is known about Shakespeare's life and this has given go up to much speculation about his biographical track record:

It is one of the ironies attendant on the growth of Shakespeare's reputation that even the most diligent scholarship has had the opportunity to uncover hardly any of the background of the poet's personal or general population life. However, the poverty of aspect has only spurred his biographers to increased scholarly, inferential, and imaginative activity. (Marder, 1963, p. 156)

What is for certain, since it is documented through baptism of the kids, is the fact that he was married to Anne Hathaway, a reasonably well connected Stratford girl, older than himself, when he was eighteen, plus they acquired three children: a daughter, Susanna, and twins, Hamnet and Judith. Not surprisingly, or maybe because of it, he spent the vast majority of his life abroad in London where almost all of his writing took place.

There has been a great deal written about how happy or elsewhere the couple may have been, especially since he kept Anne little or nothing in his will except his 'second best bed'. Many have read this as an insult but perhaps a more appropriate reading is that the best foundation was for guests and the second best the matrimony bed therefore to bequeath this to his better half, far from as an insult, was a love token. Carol Ann Duffy writes of this in her sonnet 'Anne Hathaway':

The foundation we liked in was a content spinning world of forests, castles, torchlight, clifftops, seas where he'd dive for pearls. (Duffy, The World's Better half, 2000, p. 30)

This tender version of love would seem to be a lot more appropriate, especially because the first seventeen of the sonnets, known as the 'procreation sonnets', are typically worried about the recommendation of marriage to a man. If Shakespeare was so violently against matrimony then it seems unlikely that he'd have suggested it. However, as always with the sonnets, this isn't as easy as it appears with the directive to marry being relatively complicated by other imperatives with which Shakespeare is plainly concerned, not least his devotion for the 'Fair Youth'.

The early sonnets in the collection should be considered as they pertain to the question of matrimony itself, therefore, somewhat than as they relate with Shakespeare's life:

Shakespeare's Sonnets raise a number of problems. We do not know when these were written, to whom they are simply attended to, nor even if they are certainly autobiographical. (Knight, 1955, p. 3)

With this in mind it isn't only more suitable but essential, therefore, to define any debate on the possible marriage between the sonnet issues and Shakespeare's life with the reminder that people know so little about the second option that any inferences must be thought to be tenuously speculative at best. Thus, the marriage question which pertains to the first seventeen sonnets can't be seen as aimed in virtually any major sense by the poet's own life:

The ideal sonnets, those which are neither wholly conventional nor wholly autobiographical, preserve this balance between embroilment and detachment in a way which is actually dramatic. An individual experience may underlie each, but it is experience transmuted, as in the plays, in to the correlative form of people in action. To some degree these characters will be the dramatic counterparts of actual people-the children, the dark woman-though they aren't individuals themselves. Others belong, as personages, only to the microcosm of poetry: Time, for example, one of the very most powerful villains among Shakespeare's dramatis personae; and above all, Shakespeare's own diverse masks and moods, totally realised and recognized. (Mahood, 1988, p. 90)

The idea that the sonnets are in any way biographical must, indeed, be questioned but it must be remarked that the way the words are being used within the sonnets might be attributable to Shakespeare's personal consciousness:

The nature of the wordplay in the Sonnets differs corresponding to whether Shakespeare is too remote control or too nearby the experience behind the poem or whether he is at a gratifying remarkable distance from it. When he's detached, the wordplay is a consciously used, hard-worked rhetorical device. When his intricacy of feeling upon the occasion of a sonnet is not fully realised by him, the wordplay often uncovers an mental undercurrent that was perhaps hidden from the poet himself. But in the best sonnets the wordplay is neither involuntary nor wilful; this can be a skilfully completed means whereby Shakespeare makes explicit both his discord of emotions and his quality of the conflict. (Mahood, 1988, p. 90)

Thus, when in 'Sonnet CXVI' he creates of 'the marriage of true thoughts' (Shakespeare, William, 2003, p. 343) he is perhaps appealing us to infer a connective between what he writes and what he feels, an totally different kind of 'marriage', metaphorical somewhat than literal and certainly more 'of the head' than of the center.

As the collection starts, the poet addresses the young ones familiarly but in an almost didactic shade, of the elderly to the younger, as within 'Sonnet I':

From fairest creatures we desire increase, That thus beauty's rose might never perish, But as the riper should by time decease, His tender heir might carry his recollection: But thou contracted to thine own shiny eyes, Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial gas, Making a famine where abundance lies, Thy personal thy foe, to thy nice do it yourself too cruel: Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament, In support of herald to the gaudy spring and coil, Within thine own bud buriest thy content, And, tender churl, mak'st waste material in niggarding: Pity the entire world, if not this glutton be, To consume the world's credited, by the grave and thee. (Shakespeare, William, 2003, p. 113)

The need for this sonnet in building the poet's themes throughout the sequence must be stressed, as here we see Shakespeare writing of the transience of beauty, the selfishness of the individual, the battle between desire and fulfilment, the beauty of the natural world and its own comparative with individuals beauty (to which he'll come back in the well-known 'Sonnet XVIII' and in other places) and the basic responsibility of man to procreate or, as the sonnet has it, 'increase' and 'in that way beauty's rose might never pass away'. All of these relate with the real human condition and also perhaps to Shakespeare's own concerns:

In the truth of a poet, It is suggested it is chiefly through his images that he, to some extent unconsciously, 'gives himself away'. He might be, and in Shakespeare's circumstance is, almost entirely objective in his dramatic individuals and their views and opinions, yet, like the man who under stress of feeling will show no sign of it in eye or face, but will show you it in some muscular pressure, the poet unwittingly lays bare his own innermost likes and dislikes, observations and hobbies, associations of thought, attitudes of brain and values, in and through the images, the verbal pictures he draws to illuminate something quite different in the speech and considered his individuals. (Spurgeon, 1935, p. 4)

Thus, the fact that the young man is referred to in relation to 'fairest creatures' facilitates the poet's directive that this places upon the average person a responsibility: beauty is not given to 'perish' but to be carried on by the 'sensitive heir'. The register is important and commanding, with the poet adopting the voice of 1 who has the authority to instruct by reason of superior get older and knowledge, hence perhaps the juxtaposition of 'riper' and 'reduce' in the preceding lines to reference to the 'sensitive heir' and 'memory'. The youth is instructed that he's, in keeping parlance, his own most detrimental enemy, 'Thy self applied thy foe', since he will not see the waste of his beauty which lies in his refusal to talk about his presents with posterity via procreation. This accusatory build is expanded to the 'self-abuse' of masturbation in 'Within thine own bud buriest thy content', which also bears the pun of pleasure and substance, and the youth known as a 'glutton' and 'tender churl', the latter implying an indulgence in the chiding of the youngster. This is, of course, the supreme image of the waste materials with that your poet is concerned since to make 'a famine where great quantity lies' is almost seen as a blasphemy, refusing, selfishly, to procreate and 'eat the world's scheduled' by the selfish quest for personal indulgence: 'contracted to thine own smart eyes', as with Narcissus, in love with his own reflection and failing woefully to see the self-destruction that is inherent in this.

In addition, by discussing the boy in terms of your 'rose', the poet presents the classic Romantic emblem of love as well as re-emphasising the transience of the poet's beauty. This notion of beauty and its connective with nature is again related in terms of any comparative with nature's beauty and inveterate perishability in 'Sonnet XVIII':

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou fine art more lovely plus more temperate: Abrasive winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too brief a time: Sometime too hot the attention of heaven shines, And frequently is his yellow metal complexion dimmed, And every fair from good sometime declines, By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed: But thy eternal summertime shall not diminish, Nor lose possession of that good thou ow'st, Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st, As long as men can inhale, or eyes can see, So long lives this, which offers life to thee. (Shakespeare, William, 2003, p. 147)

The comparability of the transience of nature's beauty with that of the junior to whom the poem is tackled is clear, yet the rhetoric of the beginning seems to imply an equivocal dynamics to the connective of the expanded metaphor that uses. The tentativeness of the image is also emphasised by this questioning in the first range and it enhances both the intimacy of the register of address and the partnership of the poet with the wider readership. This second option is important since it is a great deal a problem in the poem, with the idea of immortality attached here to writing as it once was attached to procreation. The common denominator here is the idea of creation itself and its own connective with the 'eternal'.

This is perhaps one of Shakespeare's more famous sonnets, if not the most well-known, it is therefore installing that in a dissertation concerned with the areas of love that your sonnets present, attention should be paid to the aspect of the writing which concerns the process of creation and its connective with the audience. It really is interesting to note, indeed, that the poet chooses to stress the importance of the 'eternal lines' which he is composing and how this overcomes the essential transience of life and beauty whether in aspect or mankind. Indeed, the punctuation of this sonnet is indicative of its important since there is frequent consumption of the bowel throughout, implying a thought started and completed in each quatrain, performing almost as enjambment and improving the theory that the countless aspects of beauty and life which this sonnet features are embodied within one thought as evidenced in the single expanded metaphor which informs the sonnet as a whole. The poet's almost godlike assimilation of the energy to grant immortality looks dangerously hubristic in abstract and even induces the inference that Shakespeare was aware of the strength of his poetic items and their capacity to confer some sort of immorality on the thing of love, who by the finish of the sonnet is becoming subject to the sonneteer rather than in command. As the poet is also using his gift ideas to describe the cherished one via character, the top features of the numinous within aspect become linked with this hubristic stance. Thus, 'nature's changing course' and 'Chance', which significantly starts a collection, are to some extent negated, or at least trained, by the poet's art. Features of life which terrify, therefore, such as fatality cannot 'brag' when confronted with the 'eternal' characteristics of Art work:

Shakespeare prophetically noticed the immortality and universality of his works even though he appears to have made no great work toward their preservation in print. (Marder, 1963, p. 361)

This might, this sonnet would seem to suggest, also be expanded to the sonnets. Indeed, in daring to criticise the glories of aspect, Shakespeare seems to place creative Art work above it, since it, unlike all those things is 'natural', survives, only, though, so long as it is treasured, as the final couplet significantly testifies:

As long as men can breathe, or eyes can easily see, So long lives this, which provides life to thee.

In this way, Shakespeare demonstrates an awareness of the fundamental importance of the connection between writer and reader, reinforced perhaps by his experience as an acting professional and author of drama. Hence, the tone of voice of the actor may be recognized in what of the sonneteer and universality as well as the eternal identified in both:

On this planet the trustworthiness of Shakespeare is secure. When life is uncovered in other places in the universe and some interplanetary traveller brings to the new world the fruits of the terrestrial culture, who can imagine anything but that among the first books carried to the wondering strangers is a Bible and the works of William Shakespeare. (Marder, 1963, p. 362)

Thus, Shakespeare may be observed, via the sonnets and plays, to transcend what is regarded as immediate in aspects of love and build relationships the eternal.

Chapter Two: 'I do believe her though I know she lies'

The potent erotic content of the sonnets becomes a major directive following a romantic turning point of 'Sonnet XVIII'. The sequence moves powerfully from restrained yet poetic discussion of areas of want to explicit sexual recommendations which are concerned more with lust than love and frequently deceit is linked to this which duplicity is frequently associated with the heterosexual sonnets.

Importantly, the love is not aimed entirely towards heterosexual love, instead it entails the same, if not more powerful, representation of homoerotic desire, with the Fair Youth and the Dark Sweetheart equally powerful in the poet's interest, indeed, often the two overlap producing an androgynous aspect to the interest which also appears in the has:

The very first thing that startles the audience about the sonnets is the emotional virtuosity of the protagonist. The poems appear to have been composed over a longer time of years, and to cover a larger range of ardent experience, than anybody of the takes on. In recognizing the variety of moods and attitudes Shakespeare accumulates in the sonnets, we may choose either to admire his protean aspect as a genuine passionate friend and lover, or to stress his dexterity in accumulating this extraordinary selection of amatory motifs from literary resources. Either his own nature was unusually versatile and susceptible, or he intentionally chose to display the full opportunity of literary permutations which emotional relationships have the capability. Probably both views are true: he dexterously coordinated first-hand experience with the accumulated resources of the sonnet custom, from the solemn and sentimental to the cynical and outrageous. (Richmond, 1971, p. 19)

This is specially notable in 'Sonnet XX' where the poet longs for the youth to be always a female and the homoerotic replaces the marital directive which made an appearance in the didactic firmness of the first sonnets in the sequence:

A woman's face with nature's own hand-painted, Hast thou, the get good at mistress of my enthusiasm; A woman's gentle center, but not acquainted With shifting change, as is bogus women's fashion: An eyeball more excellent than theirs, less wrong in rolling, Gilding the thing whereupon it gazeth; A guy in hue all hues in his controlling, Which steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth. And for a woman wert thou first created; Till Dynamics, as she wrought thee, dropped a-doting, And by addition me of thee defeated, By adding one thing to my goal nothing. But since she prick'd thee out for women's pleasure, Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure. (Shakespeare, William, 2003, p. 151)

Shakespeare confronts immediately here the clear opinion that girls are duplicitous and deceitful and that the 'expert mistress' of his 'love', though gifted with 'a woman's soothing center' is 'not acquainted/With shifting change, as is phony women's fashion'. The 'eye', the original windows of the soul, is 'more smart' but 'less wrong'. Thus, the poet suggests that the beautiful youth has all a woman's best items but none of them of her faults, circumstances of efficiency to be idealised in desire. Shakespeare evolves this by writing immediately of the erotic difference where the punning 'prick'd' is clearly a mention of the redundancy of the penis for the poet. 'Dynamics' here is the adversary, even the jealous intimate predator, having 'me of thee defeated' thus irritating the wants of the poet by changing what he perceives to be the original intention, 'to build a woman', in the addition of the male organ of procreation. The amorphous image is apparently the perfect with neither male nor female details to obscure or beat the perfection of the union.

Whether this desire is linked to Shakespeare's own desire is equivocal as are inferences of autobiographical content, it is tempting but dangerous to make too may autobiographical assumptions. However:

In depicting this blend of adulation and contempt, and in every those sonnets where verbal ambiguity is thus used as a deliberate dramatic device, Shakespeare implies that superb insight into areas of strangely merged feelings which enabled him to bring alive a Coriolanus or an Enobarbus. Like Freud, he found the sources of quibbling by learning his own quibbles; and the detachment which such an analysis implies imparts to the best of the Sonnets that objectivity we look for in the best possible dramatic poetry. (Mahood, 1988, p. 110)

Certainly, there is a Freudian homoerotic subliminal here but there is no evidence to suggest that this was an actual connection with the poet any longer than we can say that he composed Hamlet therefore he will need to have experienced being the Prince of Denmark. To do either is to ignore Shakespeare's imaginative genius and his potential to transmute the luxury into the creative, with both creating then a actuality which has little if any connection with fact. So, although Shakespeare may experienced erotic liaisons with both sexes and been crossed in love, the genius is producing what is seen to be unrelated from what might possibly have took place in truth into an emblem of a generic trend in humanity to which almost all of us can connect: 'If Shakespeare's loudspeaker fictionalized the son, so too he fictionalizes himself' (Berry, 2001, p. 1).

Having said that, 'Sonnet XX' has been viewed as offering significant clues not only to the nature of Shakespeare's own sexuality but also to the personality of the 'Rational Youngsters' himself and certainly to the 'fact' of the individuals image even in its placing, as Kathryn Duncan Jones has described in her records to her 2003 model of the Sonnets (the release used throughout this dissertation): 'The placement of this anatomical sonnet at 20 may allude to a traditional association of the figure with our body, outfitted with twenty digits' (Duncan Jones, 2003, p. 150). The direct interconnection which Duncan Jones makes between anatomy and imagination in this sonnet is interesting for the reason that it breaches the difference between what might be seen to be metaphorical and what is actually a real human figurative. Indeed, she continues on in her Launch to expand on this: 'Many more numerological finesses may be discerned. For instance, the embarrassingly anatomical sonnet 20 [which] probably attracts on primitive associations of the body with our body, whose digits, fingers and toes, add up to twenty' (Duncan Jones, 2003, p. 101).

As to the identity of the youngsters to which signs are supposedly found in this sonnet, they typically put on the utilization of the word, or name it's advocated, of 'hue' and 'hues' (spelt 'Hew' and 'Hews' in the Quarto). This, it's been mooted, might relate with a specific person, especially as critics have observed that the name looks in a single form or another, even only if in disparate letters, throughout the sonnet. Much like much of the inspection into a connective between Shakespeare's life and his Art work, the link reaches best speculative and at worst spurious and in either case somewhat superfluous:

The sonnets have a fantastic capacity to elicit categorical claims of their interpreters. It really is declared that the youngsters is Southampton, the youngsters is Pembroke, the junior is no one, the dark woman is Mary Fitton, she actually is Aemilia Lanyer, she actually is no person, the sonnets are based on experience, they are not predicated on experience, the love had not been homosexual, the love was homosexual, the love was a dramatic fiction which got nothing to do with Shakespeare's sexuality. Somehow, the poems convince each reader that what he or she sees in them is exactly what is really there. [] They are able to do this partly because of what they leave out [] this then is the genius of the sonnets. (Bate, 2008, p. 43).

Indeed, 'Sonnet XX', using its womanly rhymes and gender specific juxtaposed with androgynous imagery, is singularly representative of Bate's point that in their very insufficient specific individuality is their general and fundamental charm. By inverting what we expect, Shakespeare is able to focus on our every whim and imaginative fancy yet hold on to a deeply rooted grasp on reality, far removed from the deification of the Petrarchan sonnets.

This is abundantly clear in one of Shakespeare's most well-known sonnets, resolved to the enigmatic Dark Woman, 'Sonnet CXXX':

My mistress' sight are nothing like the sun;

Coral is far more red, than her lip area red:

If snow be white, why then her chest are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires develop on her brain.

I have seen roses damasked, red and white,

But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breathing that from my mistress reeks.

I want to listen to her speak, yet well I know

That music hath a far more pleasing audio:

I offer I never found a goddess go,

My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:

And yet by heaven, I believe my love as uncommon,

As any she belied with phony compare. (Shakespeare, William, 2003, p. 375)

This sonnet is the complete inverse of the Intimate ideal, as it mocks the very material of the Petrarchan model, the picturing of women as goddesses: 'Sonnet 130 changes on a witty paradox' (Farrell, 1975, p. 7). Each one of the images used here by the poet comes with an evident comparative with the Romantic: the sun compared to eyes, the lips to coral, the breasts to snow, the hairs to wiring, your skin to damask, the breath to perfume, the tone of voice to music. Each one of these is then shown in the obverse so that the reader is both stunned by the shock of the sudden and disconcerted by the noticeable dismissal by the poet of his mistress as without the charms that are traditionally associated with reward of the dearest, especially in the sonnet form and much more especially in the Italian form as observed in Petrarch's reward of the elusive Laura:

Sonnet 130 praises the much loved by forcing us to recognize the inadequacy of our own customary means of conceiving her. It invokes the much loved only by means of negation; it identifies what is incorrect. The poet seeks to dramatize her extra-ordinary worth. She actually is beyond us, 'inconceivable. ' As with the Renaissance use of the term admiratio, 'rare' suggest the miraculous and transcendent. Aside from its negative strategy, the sonnet also arouses surprise in us through its paradoxes. Its ridicule of 'false compare' is truly a vow of love as well. Our response is intended to be simultaneously amusement and 'serious' admiration. But there is a further--and crucial--paradox in the sonnet's theme. For the poem keeps that the favorite is most individual & most real when she actually is in a roundabout way conceived, but pondered at. As in all paradoxes, the contradiction here is merely noticeable. The poet allows only two opportunities for recognition. Either your brain is rigidly conventional and hence false to certainty, or it is in a state of awe, open to fact but beyond words. Question need not preclude signifying absolutely--after all, the sonnet does indeed communicate the poet's love and the beloved's value. We feel we know very well what the poem means. But we cannot reduce that so this means to any glib verbal method. In Sonnet 130 this paradox--that we know most truly by not knowing--is lighthearted and not at all hard: a heart stroke of wit. (Farrell, 1975, p. 7)

As Farrell highlights, what we should first see as derogatory transmutes to high praise within the sonnet where in fact the 'mistress' emerges as considerably more advanced than the 'goddess' and the so-called 'terms of love' quite simply a deception practised by poets who know little of a woman as she is really when experienced as a loving, living, inhaling human being. Thus, Petrarchan practices were replicated in English,

But they were also resisted. 'My mistress' eye are nothing like the sun, ' Shakespeare defiantly claims in Sonnet 130 as he commences a down-to-earth catalogue of gladly unrealized ideals and pleasant shortcomings in his dark lady. (Rhu, 1998, p. 1)

The audacious satirising of not simply the task of his contemporaries but also his own in this sonnet exemplifies the originality and also the creativity of Shakespeare's sonnets for to invert that which was contemporaneously habitual so that they can see love 'warts and all' provides sonnet series an integrity that is frequently lacking from poems of 'courtly love' so popular at that time.

Indeed, some of the images Shakespeare produces here still have the capability to shock, especially in the job of words like 'reeks' to spell it out his mistress' breath. However, in this instance, the connotation is partially damaged by the passage of time since in Shakespeare's day the adjective would be more generically suitable to scents or smells, somewhat than as we have now infer, the application of the unpleasant, closer to stinks. Shakespeare would probably have intended a far more restrained reading, relating the mistress' breath to the normal, thus not 'perfume' or in fact devoid of anything so individual as scent whatsoever. In a similar way, music is used to spell it out the difference between it and the mistress' words rather than the similarity but it does not imply the mistress' tone is unpleasant, indeed the poet writes that he 'love[s] to listen to her speak' which typifies the build of the poem: he adores the mistress but enjoys her for what he recognizes and experiences not what he deifies. Hence, the ultimate lines are possibly the deepest expression of love between human beings that could be found any place in literature:

And yet by heaven, I believe my love as rare,

As any she belied with incorrect compare.

By linking in rhyme, in his last couplet, the twin ideas of 'rare' and 'compare', the poet shows how he's directed in this particular sonnet by the desire showing the difference between idealisation and 'true' love, in the same way he will, indeed, in the infatuation Romeo shows for Rosaline at the beginning of Romeo and Juliet weighed against the real and almost holy love he has for Juliet.

Of course, Shakespeare is also showing us with a singular paradox here, since if the love object is not to be regarded as 'deified' then should he be writing somewhere else, as with Romeo and Juliet, of love itself as divine? The easy response to this is that the poet makes a distinction throughout the has and the sonnets between your emotion and the object than it. He also makes a distinction between what is 'love' and what's 'lust', though both can be found within takes on and sonnets as well:

[The] central reality [that] must never be ignored by those who find themselves repelled by the myriad manifestations of Shakespeare's fascination with women and their sexual features [is that] it was part of his character and his personality; nor did he desire to cover it; he didn't even wish to symbolize it as apart from it was. He neither pretended that he was a publicist nor cloaked his amatory sentiments and amorous nature with the hypocrisy of prurient-minded prudes and smug, clandestine voluptuaries. (Partridge, 2001, p. 26)

Sexuality, whether heterosexual or homosexual, in the sonnets is not, therefore, towards love, indeed it is frequently an important, basic and inherent facet of it of which Shakespeare speaks proudly and honestly. It is frequently, however, tied together with deception, the most openly lustful and erotic sonnets being those wherein he also discourses upon the deceitful dynamics of love. It must be stressed, indeed, these sonnets are almost completely those resolved to the 'Dark Sweetheart', her 'darkness', in fact, being reflective of wickedness as well as sexuality, as in 'Sonnet CXLIV':

Two loves I have of comfort and despair,

Which like two spirits do suggest me still:

The better angel is a man right reasonable,

The worser heart a woman coloured ill.

To succeed me soon to hell, my feminine evil,

Tempteth my better angel from my part,

And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,

Wooing his purity with her foul pride.

And whether that my angel be flipped fiend,

Suspect I might, yet not directly tell;

But being both from me, both to each friend,

I imagine one angel in another's hell:

Yet this shall I ne'er know, but are in doubt,

Till my bad angel hearth my good one out. (Shakespeare, William, 2003, p. 405)

This sonnet sticks out as emblematic of the battle between the intimate and the religious in love and the fact that both are constituent parts but often in opposition. The central dynamic is intensified incidentally in which the female is determined with bad, 'a woman colored ill' (hence, perhaps, the 'dark female') and the man with the angelic, 'the better angel is a man right fair' (thus, 'the Good Junior'). The sonnet seems to sum up the way that throughout the series, Shakespeare has revelled in the manipulation of Platonic and homoerotic love with heterosexual desire and the demystification of the Petrarchan love thing. Certainly, one must be aware the presence of a misogynistic element to the structure, especially since what might be termed the 'Eve symptoms' of the ability of the woman to 'corrupt' the 'purity' of the 'saint' is evidently in information. The pure Platonic which is often used to discuss the love between males is employed here in a different way, that is to decry the female as capable of corrupting the greater spiritual and enhanced affections which can be found between men. (Interestingly, this was quite definitely an informative of the aesthetes of the fin de siecle and there is definitely, a resonance of Shakespeare's 'two adores' in the infamous poem by Lord Alfred Douglas, Oscar Wilde's 'Bosie', in the poem that helped convict Wilde of homosexuality which hired quite similar imagery in 'the love that dares not speak its name'. Also, Wilde spoke very eloquently of the importance and indeed nobility of Platonic love at his trial. ) The inherent deceit which the poet represents within a woman's character is found again in 'Sonnet CXXXVIII':

When my love swears that she is made of truth,

I do believe her though I understand she lies,

That she might think me some untutored children,

Unlearned in the world's fake subtleties.

Thus vainly thinking that she considers me young,

Although she is aware of my days and nights are past the best,

Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue:

On both attributes thus is simple truth suppressed:

But wherefore says she not she is unjust?

And wherefore say not I that I am old?

O! love's best behavior is within seeming trust,

And age group in love, loves not to have years told:

Therefore I lay with her, and she beside me,

And in our faults by lies we flattered be. (Shakespeare, William, 2003, p. 391)

Here the poet is seen to take the idea of the individual's duplicity to the world of shared deception, the notion that both addicts engage in joint deceit and the bewilderment which the poet feels at this. There is deliberate and repeated use of punning throughout the sonnet, especially in the double-meaning of 'lay': i. e. deceit and sex. Addititionally there is the needy need to trust, which oddly strikes a religious take note. Indeed, is important to notice that spiritual imagery such as whatever is subliminally used here and, indeed, to great impact throughout the sonnets is, inside our increasingly secular time, often dismissed. However, popularity of the spiritual undertone which informs the poems is vital to a comprehensive understanding of Shakespeare's sonnets and therefore will be looked at next chapter.

Chapter Three: 'Though thou repent, yet I've still the loss'

It important to discover that despite the secular mother nature of a lot of what energises Shakespeare's sonnets the function of expression is frequently religious despite views to the in contrast:

We are used to think of the universality of Shakespeare as not the least of his glories. No other poet has given so manysided an expression to human character, or rendered so many passions and moods with this appropriate variety of style, sentiment, and highlight. If, therefore, we were asked to select one monument of human being civilisation that should survive for some future age, or be transferred to another world to bear witness to the inhabitants there of what we have been upon earth, we have to probably choose the works of Shakespeare. In them we recognise the truest portrait and best memorial of man. Yet the archaeologists of that future get older, or the cosmographers of that other area of the heavens, after conscientious review of your Shakespearian autobiography, would misconceive our life in one important respect. They might hardly understand that man had possessed a faith. (Singer, 1956, p. 137)

This could hardly be more misplaced as a judgement since the idea that religion is absent from the sonnets simply because they do not directly address this issue is totally to misunderstand them and the age where Shakespeare was writing. Indeed, more often than not when Shakespeare writes of true love, as he frequently does in both takes on and the sonnets, he uses religious terminology to do so as here in 'Sonnet XXXIV':

Why didst thou offer such a beauteous day, And make me travel forth without my cloak, To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way, Concealing thy bravery in their rotten smoke cigars? 'Tis insufficient that through the cloud thou break in the action, To dry the rainfall on my storm-beaten face, For no man well of such a salve can speak, That heals the wound, and solutions not the disgrace: Nor can thy pity give physic to my grief; Though thou repent, yet I've still losing: The offender's sorrow lends but fragile relief To him that bears the strong offence's combination. Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds, And they're wealthy and ransom all unwell deeds. (Shakespeare, William, 2003, p. 179)

Here, the poet talks of the increased loss of a friend and love object but uses the imagery of 'pity', 'repent[ance]' and 'grief' to take action. Addititionally there is punning mention of the 'mix' and 'the offender's sorrow' as well as 'salve' which 'heals the wound' and 'solutions not the disgrace'. Additionally, and perhaps most of all, there exists, in the ultimate series, the biblical reference to the 'tears' that are 'pearl[s]' of 'love' that 'ransom all unwell deeds'. Thus even though the sonnet deals with personal loss, the imagery is too powerfully biblical to be forgotten or marginalised as is so frequently the situation in modern-day commentaries. All the images of grief which are expressed here are connected with atonement and thus with the idea of sin and repentance. The desire to be cleansed, evidenced perhaps in the 'tears', is inherently area of the damage which energises via an lack. The accusatory rhetoric of the beginning, therefore, transmutes by the end to a need to make amends and 'recover' a breach. Thus, it is important it appears, for the poet, to create a connective between personal separation and department in human conditions with the idea of a rift with God.

In order to comprehend the importance of the imagery and its own contemporaneous familiarity, one must make reference to the era in which the sonnets were written and recognise that for Shakespeare and his contemporaries the use of spiritual imagery expressing any facet of life or love was natural. This can be clearly observed in the work of Shakespeare's contemporaries such as Ben Jonson, who relates his own spiritual confusion following the death of his boy in his verse 'On My First Son' (constructed in 1603 and published in 1609). Within this verse, Jonson questions the lack of faith which causes his grief however, not the fact that his boy was extracted from him. Similarly, George Herbert, who assumed that the only real reason to create was to glorify God, writes of redemption, as we have seen Shakespeare does indeed, in conditions of ransom. Indeed, the sonnet which Herbert composed on the necessity to recover a rift with God, called 'Redemption' (first posted posthumously in 1633), was mentioned by T. S. Eliot as 'Christianity in fourteen lines'. Thus, the background to Shakespeare's spiritual imagery can be seen to be securely founded in the money of the time. Indeed it would have been more unusual for him not to have employed spiritual imagery than to do so as he will within 'Sonnet CVIII' (Shakespeare, William, 2003, p. 327):

What's in the brain, that ink may character, Which hath not thought to thee my true spirit? What's not used to speak, what now to join up, That may point out my love, or thy dear merit? Nothing, sweet guy; yet somehow, like prayers divine, I must daily say o'er the same; Keeping track of no old thing old, thou mine, I thine, Even while when first I hallowed thy good name. In order that eternal love in love's fresh case, Weighs not the dust particles and injury of age, Nor provides to necessary lines and wrinkles place, But makes antiquity for aye his page; Locating the first conceit of love there bred, Where time and outward form would show it dead.

This sonnet again pulls the attention of readers to the importance of the placing of the sonnets in sequential order since, as Kathryn Duncan Jones, between others, has pointed out in the records to her 2003 model of the Sonnets (used throughout this dissertation), 108 is the total range of sonnets in the famous sequence, Astrophel and Stella, printed posthumously in 1591, by the primary sonneteer of the day, Sir Philip Sidney (Duncan Jones, 2003, p. 326). Shakespeare would doubtless be familiar with the significance of this amount, as would his contemporaries, and in inserting the sonnet he allies it to Sidney, perhaps in tribute.

However, the wider need for the sonnet is in the clear connective which it displays between human love and the divine. As is the case with most of the first sonnets in the series, CVIII is dealt with to a man but here, the love is inextricably linked with the divine. That is clear from the sources to prayer, especially 'The Lord's Prayer', within the poem. However, the connection has been variously read as laudatory and blasphemous over time but the idea of the sonnets being intentionally blasphemous ignores the actual fact that blasphemy in Shakespeare's time was no mere trifle. It must be remembered that Elizabethan Great britain was a time of great threat for anyone declining to conform to what was required in spiritual observation, prayers were required to be recited regularly and failure to stick to this could signify imprisonment and even loss of life. Thus, even although sonnets were doubtless shared privately for quite a while before their rather doubtfully authorised publication, it is decidedly doubtful that Shakespeare could have taken the chance of committing a blatant blasphemy to verse.

Thus, a far more likely reading is that which it's been mentioned previously also connects to the first exchange between the addicts in Romeo and Juliet, that is, the theory that love has a sanctity linked to the Divine also to the Eternal. Shakespeare makes a direct connection between your repetition of his expressions of love for the boy and the 'prayers divine/ I have to everyday say o'er the same'. He also identifies the boy's name as 'hallowed' and causes a recognisable resonance, especially to his contemporaries, with the 'Lord's Prayer' where God's name is 'hallowed'. This direct connective is of course one of the principal reasons for retrospective accusations of blasphemy in that corporeal, indeed homosexual, love might be linked with words of worship directed to the Creator. However, the poet's intention might be read, especially in the light of historical spiritual context, as a means by which they can impress upon viewers that love is real and spiritual and, like God, beyond the confines of the time and an image of unity:

In any intellectual review we expect first some principle of unity; but it is strictly this that is lacking to your understanding of Shakespeare. If no unity be apprehended, the effect will be an intellectual chaos such as has surely surfaced throughout recent Shakespearian research. (Knight, 1953, p. 1)

Thus, the reference to the divine aspect of love is not blasphemous very much as spiritually increased in its way and beyond the perishable problem old.

The idea of love being beyond the encroachment and corruption of your time is one that is interwoven as a theme which informs the complete sequence of the sonnets as can be plainly seen in one of the more famous, 'Sonnet CXVI' (Shakespeare, William, 2003, p. 343):

Let me never to the matrimony of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to eliminate: O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark, That looks on tempests and is also never shaken; It is the legend to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his level be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lip area and cheeks Within his twisting sickle's compass come; Love alters not with his brief time and weeks, But bears it out even to the border of doom. If this be problem and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever before loved.

The poet's significant use of 'impediments' in this sonnet and its obvious resonance with the marriage ceremony has resulted in much speculation as to the character of the sexual impetus behind it. It seem to be as though the idea of Platonic love is being used one stage further, to involve it with a formal union blessed by the Cathedral and Express. In Shakespeare's time, of course, this might have been an undreamt of impossibility but that only adds to the enticement of it as the 'impediment' also requires the blockage of the 'matrimony of true heads' which is precisely the Platonic rule. Thus, the element of spirituality seems to continue as a subliminal in the sonnet sequence.

However, Shakespeare also discourses on the nature of love itself and what might be said to constitute 'Love' as a long-term emotion. Shakespeare does this, as he did with the reward of his mistress in 'Sonnet CXXX', by saying what love is not. That's, 'Love is not love' which can ever be altered, not merely by time but by scenario. This ends the first quatrain and the second commences with the exclamatory 'O, no!' which really is a defiant recognition of the certainty that the poet knows what love is basically because he then goes on to clarify its permanence in conditions of opposition since it 'appears on tempests and is also never shaken'. The image of love as classic and beyond the 'tempests' of life is further enhanced by its intransigence in the face of the sea's turbulence, especially since Shakespeare so frequently uses the idea as a metaphor:

Since the sea is so tragically apprehended, its battle with land so powerfully visualized, it is clear that any image of water breaking its bounds can be an apt image for 'disorder'. 'Disorder' and 'tragedy' are in Shakespeare virtually synonymous. Disorder in man or state is like a good overflowing its limitations. Interest may often be looked at to swell greater than the bounds enforced by reason. (Knight, 1953, p. 23)

The proven fact that the sea symbolizes chaos and that love is the antidote, tolerant to this inclines the reader to infer that love, like Heaven, is opposed to the Hell of life displayed by the ocean here. Biblically, of course, God helped bring the world out of chaos and segregated the 'firmaments' so the reader views again a connective with the Divine, here. Furthermore, the poet confronts the idea of get older here and the idea that 'alteration' can be wrought naturally but that love is beyond that. This love that is 'not Time's fool', the capital letter personifying 'Time' and joining it with the image of their time as the 'grim reaper', an image improved by the 'sickle', can't be touched and is inviolate. Finally, the love explained here is 'the star to every wandering bark' and so beyond earthly involvement; stars were viewed as emblematic of Heaven in Shakespeare's time, so again there is the Divine connective. The weakness of the finishing in the rather throwaway couplet might possibly be to underline the strength of what has truly gone before but may also imply against love of the type with which the poet has been worried in this sonnet all else, even creative electricity, is as nothing at all.

The religious imagery is also used when the poet is talking about his love for the young ones almost as a father for his boy, thus invoking again the image of God as Father. The poet uses the religious imagery to make clear to the children the importance of what has been advised or recommended in the didactic early on sonnets, so the procreation spoken of as so essential therefore much a work to the human race is reflective of how mankind was created to continue to expand and develop not limited to his own sake but for the sake of the success of the contest. This is indeed a Divine directive which the poet perceives and gives possible to the early advice. It also strengthens the poet's sense of its moral connection:

As a decrepit father will take delight To check out his lively child do deeds of youth, THEREFORE I, made lame by Fortune's dearest spite, Take all my comfort of thy well worth and truth; For whether beauty, beginning, or prosperity, or wit, Or these all, or all, or even more, Entitled in thy parts, do crowned sit, I make my love engrafted to this store: So i quickly am not lame, poor, nor despis'd, Whilst that shadow doth such material give WHICH I in thy abundance am suffic'd, And by an integral part of all thy glory live. Look what is best, that best I wish in thee: This wish I've; then ten times happy me! (Shakespeare, William, 2003, p. 185)

Here, in 'Sonnet XXXVII', the metaphor of the 'decrepit dad' who calls for take pleasure in his 'lively child' is utilized to explore the idea that that which was advised by the poet in the first sonnet of the sequence, marriage for future years of yourself and posterity, is of value in the enjoyment and fulfilment that it gives. Thus, the poet 'made lame by bundle of money' is restored by the vision of medical and vigour of the child. The subliminal spiritual connotation here's that how the aged man can take pleasure in the quasi-creation of the younger, even in metaphorical conditions, is like whatever the Divine Father usually takes in the 'child' which is mankind. The comparison between 'shadow' and 'chemical' is also delineated in terms of the youngsters giving a essential actuality to the more mature man that otherwise he might have lost. What might be observed as supernatural is thus transposed to the natural in the essential juxtaposition of shadow and material both posting the 'glory' of life. Indeed, this juxtaposing of the natural and the supernatural is a tool Shakespeare frequently uses in the takes on as well as the sonnets just as in Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare contrasts different types of love, disclosing the 'true' love in the sonnet exchange between Romeo and Juliet:

The poet of the traditional sonnet often feels in his center that his love is incorrect, and he sometimes argues against himself on the side of morality-an understandable effect of his towering idealization of the lady. One feels sometimes that little or nothing would disconcert him more than the sudden success of his suit, so dainty special is melancholy. [] The poet addresses the lady in terms of flame and glaciers (he is the fire, she the ice), of earth and air. He longs to touch her side; he cherishes the glove that she has dropped. Etc! With Shakespeare, however, the substance of love is mutuality. (Hubler, 1952, p. 43)

This idea is also to be observed in the baser imagery used in the heterosexual poems of love attended to to the 'Dark Sweetheart'. As opposed to the divine facet of the spiritual love which is detailed in the sonnets to the 'Good Youth', the terminology of the sonnets tackled to the Dark Lady is often completely without religious or religious presence, or contains sources to the interest he seems for the essentially duplicitous woman as evil, linked with the thought of Eve, enticement and Hell. The Dark Sweetheart is usually assumed to possess been a married female, therefore singularly deceitful from the outset, and the poet presents her as a result in almost all of the sonnets in which she appears:

The expense of soul in a waste materials of shame Is lust doing his thing: and till action, lust Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame, Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, never to trust; Enjoyed no faster but despised direct; Recent reason hunted; and no sooner had, Recent reason hated, as a swallowed bait, On purpose laid to help make the taker mad. Mad in quest and in possession so; Had, having, and in mission to have extreme; A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe; Before, a delight suggested; behind a wish. All this the planet well has learned; yet none is aware well To shun the heaven leading men to this hell. (Shakespeare, William, 2003, p. 376) Here, in 'Sonnet CXXIX', the 3rd in the series resolved to the Dark Woman, the poet talks in rapacious terms of the voracious appetites of the buffs. The sonnet which employs is the fact spoken of preceding, where Shakespeare mocks the elevation of the much loved to the realms of the goddess. Thus, he's talking about an earthy woman here, person who does not appear ethereal but who 'treads on the earth' ('Sonnet CXXX', Shakespeare, William, 2003, p. 375). Also, in 'Sonnet CXXVII' (Shakespeare, William, 2003, p. 372), the poet has written of the way that 'In the old age black was not counted fair', therefore the Dark Lady, that has exclusively descriptions of darkness mounted on her, is associated with everything that attaches to darkness in the creativity: evening, sexuality and evil: There is nothing beats the girl of Shakespeare's sonnets in all the sonnet books of the Renaissance. The females of the sonnet traditions were idealizations; Shakespeare's heroine represents neither the original ideal nor his. The Elizabethan ideal of beauty was blonde; Shakespeare's heroine, if we might call her that, was dark, and the blackness of her scalp and sight and heart and soul is so greatly stressed that she's come to be known as 'the Dark Lady'. He insists after her darkness--first the darkness of her beauty, and later the darkness of her deeds. But right from the start, even when his passion for her was untouched by regret, his praise of her beauty was designated by ambivalence. It was perhaps the dominance of the original and popular ideal which made him distrust the dictates of his senses. (Hubler, 1952, p. 39)

Hence, the juxtaposition of 'heaven' with 'hell' in his explanation of her as emblematic of love is significant for, like the compare of darkness and light, this brings to the fore the picture of the destructive side of the woman to whom the poet is attracted as you almost being ingested alive. Furthermore, in referrals to 'lust' and 'pity' the poet declares that he views this interest as sinful which as she actually is married, we assume, it is. Yet, what's the audience to make of the poet's abdication of responsibility, here? He seems to be driven by his own lusts and dismissive of the woman once satisfied: 'Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight'. Portraying himself 'as a swallowed bait', he's encouraging the audience to see him to be 'caught' and for that reason reducing his own culpability by increasing hers. 'History reason' is repeated emphasising again the lack of control that your man feels in the grasp of this interest and his sense that he's 'hunted' and struggling to evade capture. There is absolutely no sense, here, o

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