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Introduction[ edit ] Sonnet 1 is the first in a series of sonnets written by William Shakespeare and published in by Thomas Thorpe. The first mode of preservation entertained is procreation, which is urged without letup in the first fourteen poems and twice again". Though the idea that the Fair Youth and the W.
According to Robert Matz, "Shakespeare transforms the sonnet convention". Shakespeare's audience would have interpreted such an aggressive tone as entirely improper encouragement of procreation.
However, Shakespeare "does not engage in stock exaltation of the chastity of the beloved, but instead accuses the young man of gluttonous self-consumption in his refusal to produce a 'tender heir' who would continue his beauty beyond the inexorable decay of aging".
Instead, Shakespeare urges the young man to have sex and procreate with a woman in marriage. Joseph Pequigney says that Sonnet 1 may be "a befitting way to begin the least conventional of Renaissance love-sonnet sequences".
Stauffer says that the sonnets "may not be in an order which is absolutely correct but no one can deny that they are related and that they do show some development some 'story' even if incomplete and unsatisfactory". Many of Shakespeare's sonnets also reflect the two-part structure of the Italian Petrarchan Sonnet.
In this type of sonnet though not in Sonnet 1 "the first eight lines are logically or metaphorically set against the last six [and] an octave-generalization will be beautiful print handwriting analysis by a particular sestet-application, an octave question will be followed by a sestet answer or at least a quatrain answer before the summarizing couplet".
Here, Shakespeare chooses to rhyme "increase" and "decease", "die" and "memory" and then proceeds to use "eyes" and "lies", "fuel" and "cruel" as rhymes in the second quatrain lines five through eight. In lines five through twelve, Shakespeare shifts to famine and waste.
Rhythm has an important role here. Thus, we have the triple emphasis produced by the final spondee of line 5, so effective after the regular iambic pentameter of all that precedes it. This is then followed by the flowing trochee-iamb that begins the next line, a combination that will be repeated frequently".
Other words and themes the speaker uses are explained by Helen Vendler: Each line contains ten syllables, and the second line is composed only of one-syllable words. Some scholars attribute the monosyllable closing line of the poem as a tribute to 16th century poet, George Gascoigne.
The couplet of the poem describes the seemingly selfish nature of the beloved Shakespeare chooses to rhyme "be" and "thee" here. By making the choice to not procreate, Shakespeare describes how the beloved is denying what the world deserves his bloodline.
Instead of ending the sonnet on a positive note or feeling while alternating between dark and bright tones, the tone of the couplet is negative since the sonnet is overshadowed by the themes of blame, self-interest, and famine in both quatrains two and three. Analysis[ edit ] Helen Vendler comments on the overall significance of this sonnet: Shakespeare, in this first sonnet of the sequence, suggests we have internalized the paradisal command in an aestheticized form: From fairest creatures we desire increase.
Unless the young man pities the world, and consents to his own increase, even a successively self-renewing Eden is unavailable".
Larsen also claims that the sonnet's first line echoes Genesisthe "locus biblicus of openings". But while there is no woman in this sonnet it is not the case that there is no desire. On the contrary, Shakespeare continually expresses his desire for the young man whom he calls 'beauty's rose' and who, he warns, must like a rose reproduce himself".
This pun is repeated in Shakespeare's play Cymbeline where the etymology is discussed. Line five, "But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes", suggests the young man is pledged to himself, as in a betrothal, but reduced to the small scope of his own eyes.
The word "buriest" suggests the youth digging his own grave. Martinin this line "content" means "'all that he contains', which of course includes the power to beget children, and at the same time it means his 'contentment', now and more especially in the future, and the contentment which he could give to others".
The rhythmic structure of the couplet particularly "by the grave and thee" may suggests Shakespeare's "consummate ability to mimic colloquial speech so that the sonnet sounds personal and conversational, rather than sententious", and that upon first reading, one may be granted the ability to absorb more of the author's message as opposed to a close contextual reading.
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