Theme: Love & Loyalty
- 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
Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "Sonnet 116 – William Shakespeare: Poem Analysis," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2021, https://schoolworkhelper.net/sonnet-116-william-shakespeare-poem-analysis/.