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Analysis on Sonnet 23 - William Shakespeare

Autor:   •  March 13, 2013  •  Case Study  •  828 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,033 Views

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Analysis on Sonnet 23

By William Shakespeare

Sonnet 23 is one of the best Sonnet’s written by William Shakespeare. Sonnet 23 talks about the awkwardness that the author feels towards the actor. This awkwardness is due to depth of emotion that the speaker has for the young man. The speaker's nervousness prevents him from expressing himself with his usual eloquence while in the young man's presence. The speaker begs the young man to read the words that he has written, so that the young man will know how the speaker feels about him.

The theme of the sonnet is love for in the beginning up to the end, it expresses the unspoken love of the author to the young man (the actor). The sonnet 23 became a get away tool for the author to expresses his emotions and feelings which he cannot say or express personally, It maybe because of the social status or maybe because they are both men. This is one of the works of Shakespeare that some critics used as an evidence to say that Shakespeare is gay. Either way, Sonnet 23 is a wonderful work of art. It speaks of unspoken love which is expressed in the written texts.

As an unperfect actor on the stage

Who with his fear is put besides his part,

Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage

Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart, (lines 1-4)

In the first quatrain, the speaker likens himself to an actor who follows a carefully crafted script. This actor then becomes a “some fierce thing” with too much desire on something. The actor shows his inexperience for he shows his fear that he might not perform his part well. The actor tends to forget his lines when he is onstage much like the speaker who forgets the words he wants to say when he is in front of the lovely boy (maybe another actor on stage). The speaker likens himself to “some fierce thing”, probably a wild animal, which has a powerful rage that shuts or overpowers the love he has for the lovely boy. The “thing” is commonly used during the renaissance to indicate the males’ genitalia. Either way, the flustered actor and the “fierce thing” both end up to the same situation: they are so enfeebled or overshadowed by their emotions that they end up speechless.

So I, for fear of trust, forget to say

The perfect ceremony of love's rite.

And in

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