Shakespeare's Sonnet Number 126: Critique



Shakespeare's sonnets, as poems, have been obscured by the enormous amount
of speculation, much of it unjustified, that has grown up around the problems
presented by the dedication. The following sonnet is commonly grouped with 125
others that are believed to have been written to a much admired young man, who
was Shakespeare's junior in both years and social status.

The form in which the poem is written is often referred to as Shakespearean
or English form. As in most of Shakespeare's sonnets the argument proceeds by
quatrains. Each quatrain presents an idea in itself. The poet in the first
quatrain bewails his own lot; in the second contrasts that lot with other men's;
in the ...

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an attempt to clarify for himself why he is in such a state he “
troubles” heaven with his “bootless” or useless cries. But as the poet has made
clear heaven turns a deaf ear and no response is forthcoming. Again he becomes
introspective and curses his fate. This first quatrain has given us an image of
a grown man “down and out” if you will, who is accepting no responsibility for
his life's station.

By the second quatrain the poet has taken to wishing he were more hopeful.
He wants to be more popular with his peers and he desires the literary skill, “
art”, and intellectual prowess, “scope”, of other men. It is almost humorous to
think that Shakespeare, at one time, wished to be a better writer. Even that
which most delights the poet no longer stays the pain he is feeling.

All is not lost, however. The third quatrain offers our poet hope. He is
almost to the point of despising himself when suddenly salvation finds him. By
some chance he thinks of his love (be ...

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Added: 1/18/2008 08:55:09 AM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Words: 598
Pages: 3

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