Reflection on Shakespeare Sonnet

Reflection on Shakespeare Sonnet

Now that you have read Sonnet 116, recall the language, images, and themes of Sonnet 55. Compare and contrast these two poems by William Shakespeare. How are they alike? How are they different? In your response, be sure to cite specific examples from each work.


Both William Shakespeare’s poems, Sonnet 116 and Sonnet 55 clear portray several themes; Time, Eternity and Love. These two Sonnet are compared and contrasted below. The comparison is based on figurative language, imageries, and themes. In Sonnet 116, the theme of love is introduced at the beginning. The theme of eternity there comes at the end.

Shakespeare’s poems are more famous for love themes. In line 14 of Sonnet 55, the speaker expresses his will in his beloved one “lover’s eyes.” Though the speaker is not clear, his intention is and passionate about love is clear. Love in Sonnet 116, is seen as a fixed point to guide the lost ships in the world sees, “an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken…” (Gale)

Shakespeare greatly uses figurative languages to communicate throughput his Sonnet poems; these include personification and metaphor. Shakespeare compares his memory to brightly shining light in Sonnet 55, “But you shall shine more bright in these contents; than unswept stone besmear’d with sluttish time.” Another metaphor Shakespeare uses is in line 4, where he refers to the time “sluttish.” This personifies time by linking it to the grubby, uncivilized woman.

Besides, Sonnet 116, the metaphor is clear from line 1 where Shakespeare compares the souls with the union of two souls to a ”marriage.” In line 5, the speaker describes love as “an ever-fixed mark” for a landmark.

There are two imageries contained in Shakespeare Sonnet 116. Love imagery is constant and is used to locate the ships. However, this image shows their love is unshaken no matter the storms they face along the way. On the other hand, destruction is the key imagery in Sonnet 55. This image gives the feeling of a horrific nightmare. The speaker uses words, “sluttish time” for meaning destruction.