Analyzing Shakespeare's Sonnets as a Celebration of Love

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In this essay, I will aim to explore to what degree Sonnet 18 and Sonnet 130 by Shakespeare celebrate love. Sonnet 18 is probably the best known and most loved of all 154 sonnets- it is considered to be a classic English love poem as it explores the stability of love and its power to immortalize a loved one. While Sonnet 130 is a parody of the conventional love sonnets written by Shakespeare’s contemporaries. Both of these are part of a sequence of sonnets, all of which are of canonical status. Love is defined to be an intense feeling of deep affection or a deep romantic attachment; a theme well-known to be attached to Shakespeare and his work. However, Feminist Shakespeare critics argue that these sonnets are shaped by the scholarly consensus about the pervasiveness of masculine anxiety and women’s disempowerment in Shakespeare’s world rather than celebrating ‘Love’ and this is why they will like to see it revised. Lisa Tuttle has defined feminist theory as asking “new questions of old texts”. To some extent I agree, that Sonnet 18 and Sonnet 130 are pieces of classic literature that celebrates the important theme of love, as Shakespeare dedicates these sonnets to a loved one. Sonnet 18 is definitely one of the most famous in the sequence of Shakespeare sonnets. Its simplicity and loveliness of its praise of the beloved has guaranteed of its place. The poet starts the praise of his dear protagonist without ostentation, but he slowly builds the image of his protagonist into that of a perfect being. Some critics argue that the poems canonical status heightens the theme of love as the poem is laden with canonical features such as the complexity of language, aesthetic unity and subject matter. The complex language in this poem helps create an intrinsic pattern which gives a sense that each word is picked out specifically for his protagonist; he describes her to be
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