Theme: Love & Loyalty

Type: Sonnet


  • Shakespeare is Britain’s most famous poet/playwright
  • Sonnet suggests that love is forever -this didn’t conform with the idea of the time – instead of obedience/subservience it focuses on faithfulness, forgiveness and equality


  • Compares (simile) love to the North Star – eternal and unchanging
  • Paradox – he says if he is wrong, he has never written anything and no man has ever loved, but he has written and men have loved and so he is right.
  • Uses enjambment to move the piece along

Symbolism and Imagery

  • Marriage is present from the very first line.
  • Idealistic vision of marriage – it is based on a deep understanding between two equals
  • The poem’s central extended metaphor if the comparison of love to the North Star – which doesn’t change position in the sky and love is present when situations change.
  • Shakespeare suggests that love leads us through life like the North Star led sailors
  • Reference to “tempests” on the sea represent arguments in love relationships


  • The sonnet gives an optimistic, idealized view on love and is seen as a powerful, unstoppable force of nature
  • According to Shakespeare, loyalty is a key to true love and asserts that the mark of true love is persistence.


  • Poem is a sonnet – 14 lines – with regular meter and iambic pentameters.
  • Shakespeare invented his own rhyme scheme (ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG) known as the Shakespearean or English sonnet
author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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