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Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare Essay

This is how a 21st century love story goes: Boy meets girl. Two days after that, the boy tells her the 3 “magical” words…“I love you”… hold on, here’s the funny part. She believes him. People nowadays don’t value love. They don’t understand that the word “love” isn’t just a 4 letter word… It’s way beyond that. This is what William Shakespeare is trying to clarify in his Sonnet 116. He wants to expound what love is, & what it isn’t. Using a couple of metaphors, Shakespeare’s main aim is to elucidate the theme that real love is immortal, consistent and certainly not under the mercy of time. Shakespeare starts off sonnet 116 by saying that true love overcomes impediments and doesn’t get affected by the changes in the surrounding. Following that, he compares true love to a Lighthouse. How are the following related? Well, a lighthouse, as well all know, guides ships and at the same time, overcomes all of the storms & tempests, at the same time, love as well guides couples and lost hearts to the right track and is able to overcome all the adversities it might encounter.

Furthermore, Shakespeare continues with the metaphors saying “It is the star to every wandering bark”. Here, Shakespeare is comparing love to a star. Long time ago, people used to depend on “stars” as a source of guidance since compasses back then didn’t exist. Yet again, love is being compared to a star that leads the way for lost hearts. Lost hearts, blind eyes, love guides them all. In addition, Shakespeare stresses on the idea that love isn’t for time wasting or entertainment. Love isn’t restricted within a limited time, hence why Shakespeare describes what love is not: it is not susceptible to time. Priceless, consistent, immortal, permanent, this is what true love is all about in the eyes of Shakespeare. He definitely gives a clear description about what love is through the metaphors he included that contributed to his main clarification.

Sonnet 116 revolves around a single theme, one that Shakespeare firmly believes in. In this cruel, twisted, tumultuous, and confusing world, there is only one constant force; Love. Shakespeare focuses on the idea that love isn’t temporary and does not fade with youth. Beauty disappears, youth fades; however, love endures till the afterlife. All the metaphors that Shakespeare included in this sonnet contributed to the theme that love is immortal. If one finds changes in the loved one, it must NOT affect love; otherwise, it wouldn’t be true love after all. What Shakespeare is basically saying is simply, love is constant, immortal, and consistent and overcomes impediments.

If it doesn’t fall under the following description, then it isn’t true love. To sum up, Shakespeare writes this poem in hope of clarifying the idea that love isn’t all about beauty, youth or price. It is priceless and isn’t under the clemency of time. The metaphors in sonnet 116 contribute in reaching a main theme, and that is what Shakespeare’s main aim is. It doesn’t matter how old you get, it doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are, it doesn’t matter how pretty or false you are because once you’re in love, all of these won’t matter anymore. I definitely agree on Shakespeare’s definition of true love for nowadays I believe it’s rare to find. With fingers crossed, I hope people would read this poem with a notepad in their hand to take notes and value love for its true meaning instead of overusing it.


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