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Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 Structure

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Information about Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 Structure
Education

Published on March 18, 2014

Author: mrbunkeredu

Source: slideshare.net

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Short description of the different sections in Shakespeare's Sonnet 116. Suitable for GCSE English Literature revision.
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How is a Sonnet structured? • Octave (Think Octo/Octopus – First 8 lines) This introduces a problem or asks a question. • Sestet (The final six lines). Brings in the resolution/ answers the question, solves the issue. • The turn: A shift in tone. Usually the final two lines. This will sum up the sonnet. Everything depends on the last two lines!

What is happening in each section? SONNET 116 Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O no; it is an ever-fixed mark, That looks on tempests, and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved. Octave Sestet Turn

What is happening in each section? SONNET 116 Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O no; it is an ever-fixed mark, That looks on tempests, and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Octave The Octave itself consists of two quatrains (four lines) In the first quatrain, Shakespeare expresses how he feels that love is not love if it alters, or changes. Love, if it is true, will never change. It will not even move if someone tries to move it. The second quatrain uses metaphors to continue to explain how love never changes.

What is happening in each section? . Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved. Sestet Turn The sestet begins with one more quatrain. Like the final quatrain of the octave, Shakespeare is using imagery to talk about true love. Here he is talking about how love doesn’t change even in the face of death. It actually stays until the end of time.

What is happening in each section? If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved. Turn Shakespeare seems to make it almost impossible to disagree with him here. In modern language, he is almost saying “if you can prove me wrong, than I’ve never written anything and no on has ever loved.” How can you disagree with that? Shakespeare was already a famous writer, so he is almost putting his reputation as a writer on the line, showing how sure he is about his ideas about love. He might even be saying that his is the only type of love, so if he’s wrong, no ‘man’ has ever properly loved.

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