Remember, Remember Me Not
A question that is commonly asked is “When you die, do you want to be remembered?” Now no it’s not a question you would bring up at the dinner table, but it is a question that is asked. Many would say that they do want to be remembered by their loved ones, and others would say that they don’t want to be remembered. The theme for the two sonnets “Remember” by Christina Rossetti, and “Sonnet 71” by William Shakespeare bring up the topic of death. Both sonnets deal with the dilemma of being remembered after death. In “Sonnet 71” Shakespeare uses the English sonnet structure to show the importance of not remembering him, while in “Remember” Rossetti passively uses the Italian sonnet structure to show the importance of remembering her.
In “Remember” Rossetti guides her lover through life once she dies. The beginning of the sonnet shows how she advices him to remember her when she is gone away. Later on in this poem there is a transition of intention that. In this transition Rossetti then realizes remembering her would only bring grief rather than the smile that could be brought if he forgets her. On the other hand we have “Sonnet 71” in which Shakespeare says that he doesn’t want to be remembered at all. In the sonnet Shakespeare is saying that he loves his loved ones so much that he doesn’t want him to remember him because if remembering him means that they will grieve over him and be saddened by his passing away, then he would much rather be forgotten. Shakespeare understands that if they are grieving over his death then that means that they are happy, and he would much rather them be happy than unhappy.
The structure of “Remember” is that of an Italian sonnet structure. The first eight lines serve as the octave, when Rossetti introduces the situation. In this part of the sonnet, the question is raised, the theme is initialized. The rhythm achieved with the iambic pentameter and the rhyme leaves calm and unvaried impression. The...