Partial Analysis Of Shakespeare's Sonnet 147

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In Shakespeare’s Sonnet 147, love is presented as a disease that is feeding on the speaker’s desires. Despite the objections of his ”reason, the physician to [his] love” the speaker nourishes his “fever” and allows it to control his thoughts and speech. Several literary devices can be found through out this sonnet and many of Shakespeare’s later sonnets that help convey the theme of being cornered by or trapped in desire.
Love and reason are personified as two opposing forces in the first two quatrains, creating a contrast between passion and judgment. Shakespeare puts love in a negative light demonstrating how the speaker’s “ailment” has driven him to fully depend on love. His reason however, is granted the impossible task of curing the speaker’s malady but his passion has risen above all judgment. “Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,” Reason leaves the speaker in a frantically crazy state. The speaker then realizes in his distressed condition that his sexual desires for the mistress of “questionable virtue” he was so smitten with is leading to his ultimate demise. In the third quatrain the speaker admits that he is past all point of correction. Love has eaten away slowly at his sanity and he is past the point of caring. “Past cure I am , now reason is past care”
An English sonnet commonly is composed of three quatrains and a couplet to summarize or recapitulate the poem. Shakespeare’s sonnets rarely follow the couplet rule. Instead of finding an answer within his being to the problem(s) stated in the previous 12 lines of this particular sonnet, the speaker further proves his insanity. Shakespeare frames the dark mistress’s evil ways in the fourteenth line; “For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee bright,/ Who art black as hell, as dark as night.” To wrap it up in a nut shell, the speaker was so infatuated by lust he could not see the dark lady for who she truly was until it was too late. It is a constantly reoccurring cliché that love is blind,...

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