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“Let me not to the marriage of true minds” Essay

”Let me not to the marriage of true minds” by William Shakespeare is an Elizabethan sonnet of 14 lines divided in three Quatrains and the habitual rhyming couplet. In this particular poem Shakespeare uses a complete different approach, luring the reader by achieving a dramatic change of style.

Although keeping the simple A/B/A/B/C/D/C/D/E/F/E/F/G/G rhyming scheme, providing the sonnet with an harmonious, fluid sound and giving it the pleasant impression of a light-hearted song ”Let me not to the marriage of true minds” does not fulfill all the typical criteria’s Shakespearian sonnet, the subject evoked being without comparison to his previous pieces. Shakespeare deliberately takes an idealistic turn, praising love in it’s purest form, where it is not only a simple feeling, but a synergy of the souls, where obstacles seem meaningless on the road of happiness, where no Impediments can be admitted in the ”marriage of true minds”.

This great respect for love is already announced by the poet in the very title, as he preaches that he shall not come in between of love ”Let me not to the marriage of true minds” nor accept any impediments to destroy this permanent bond. ”Love is not love which alters when alliteration finds {…. } or bends with the remover to remove… ” Here the author makes a strong statement, claiming that true love is strong, constant and can be in no way alliterated by adversity or the hands of time.

If altered or shaken by a ”remover”, proven impermanent by time as it was not apt to endure the arising obstacles in its path, this love is thus not comparable to the ”true love” the author makes allusion to, ”love is not love”. True love is indeed an ”ever-fixed mark”, an unfailing variable ‘that looks on tempest and is never shaken; It is the star to every wand’ring bark”. The poet seems to personalize this notion of true love, by comparing it to a trusty lighthouse spreading light and hope to every ”wand’ring bark” helping them find their path, unshaken by the tempest raging at its door.

It is the star rising well above the ground, shining of all her glory and dominating the ”wand’ring” bark. Here the ”bark” is used as a metaphor, for the lovers navigating trough struggles, wandering but finding their way, finding their path guided by the light of true love. ” Whose worth unknown although the height may be taken” as William Shakespeare so elegantly puts it, love can be measured or quantified to some degree, but it would be irrational to claim we can understand or comprehend the nature of true love as it’s worth is ”unknown”.

” Love’s not Time’s fool, through rosy lips and cheeks {…….. } but it bears it out even to the edge of doom” Shakespeare is here demonstrating the for ever occurring rivalry between Love and Time. This rivalry is here accentuated by the important capitalization of the word ”Time” associated with the word fool turning in derision love makes it obvious for the reader that it was attributed more than just a minor role in the poem. This capitalization contrasts with the word love, and time could be here well interpreted as the enemy or the principal obstacle in the path of true love.

Time, grasping its sickle tightly between its long and pallid fingers walks the earth draining life out of the dying and youth out of the beautiful ”rosy lips, and cheeks… ”. We can here note the allusion to the word ”sickle”. The sickle, often co notated with the ”walking death” or ”Grim reaper” is here used as a comparison to the ”great plague” by the author to reinforce the dramatic effects of time and it’s threat to lovers, stealing their youth, reaping all beauty from the eyes of the beholder and harvesting life.

We can also note the use of the alliteration in ”within his bending sickle’s compass come” , providing a sound a harsh cutting sound and bringing to reality the already vivid image of the sickle. ”Love is not Time’s fool” and shall not be ridiculed in such way. The author brings to life the two terms by the mean of personification, accentuating the feeling of rivalry and opposition between the former and the latter, as true love can not be turned into derision or treated with condescension by the scornful time .

True love will never alter or kowtow in front of ”brief hours and weeks but bears it to the edge of doom”. By this verse the author supports the claim that true love is eternal and shall not suffer the damages of time and remain as powerful as when the beacon was first lit, carrying this abstract notion to the edge of death ”but bears it out even to the edge of doom”. ”If this be error and upon me proved/ I never writ, Nor no man ever loved”.

Shakespeare concludes in his rhyming couplet (slant rhymes) that if, what he claims to be true is proven wrong, he has never ”writ” or written and no man as ever loved. This conclusion can seem to be based on an illogical argument as we are all well aware that Mr. Shakespeare is an author and has thus ”Writ” in multiple occasions as we are also forced to accept the obviousness that man as loved. By confirming these statements as obviously truthful we are also accepting them as the ”evidences” confirming his claims, and are thus imposed by the conclusion to agree within these terms.


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