We will be analysing the poem sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare which was written in 1609. As well as writing plays, William Shakespeare is also remembered for his poetry, especially sonnets. This poem is part of Shakespeare's famous collection of poems which consists of 154 poems. They are about topics such as time and love. It is written in the most popular format for the sonnet, also called the Shakespearean sonnet. This poem is about love, not between a speaker and his lover, but as a concept or idea. The poem explores what is meant by love
A language technique used is the use of emotive language. An example of this is when Shakespeare says "bears it out even to the edge of doom". Shakespeare is using language associated with extremes to show the power of love, confirming love as a positive force that triumphs over the prospect of "doom".
Also there is the imagery of death, used in the form of `sickles compass. This creates imagery of the Grim Reaper, the epitome of death itself though it says that love will not be altered death.
Finally Shakespeare uses a variety of metaphors. An example of this is when it says “It is the star to every wandering bark. Whose worth's unknown height is taken”. With this Shakespeare was trying to say how a star's height can be mathematically measured but its value to sailors is immeasurable, linking to immeasurability of love.
Your Personal Response
We think that it is very meaningful poem with very intense feelings of love throughout as well as presenting a clear definition of love. The only issues we have had with the poem is that there is a large amount of cliché imagery of love such as rosy lips and cheeks. Though they may not have been cliché in the time period.