Sonnet 30

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Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 30” is a Shakespearean sonnet, composed of three quatrains and a couplet. In the couplet, the writer tends to take a different track compared to the rest of the sonnet. The change in this one is signaled by a single word—“But. ” This sonnet, like most is written in iambic pentameter. The entire three quatrains are devoted to showing us his grief over his “fair lord.”

Shakespeare uses language in this sonnet to draw the reader in to the emotional pain portrayed with lines like, “I summon up” and “Then I can. These lines help draw the reader to his sad feelings about his friend balanced by the realization that he had such a friend. A courtroom motif is used in the first part with “session,” “summon up,” and “cancell’d. ” This motif is used to stress his dependence financially on his fair lord. He also uses the words “expense,” “grievances,” “account,” “paid,” and “losses” to further emphasize that fiscal relationship.

The speaker realizes in the poem that the fair lord has credits on his side. In other words, the speaker can never repay all that his fair lord has given him. Shakespeare also uses both repetition and internal rhyme to convey his message. Alliteration is shown in “sigh,” “sight,” and “sought,” “things,’ and “past” as well as in the phrase “sessions of sweet silent thought. ” Internal rhyme is used in “foregoned,” “forebemoaned,” “before” and “restored. He uses assonance as well in the use of a short e in phrases like “sessions” and “remembrance. ” Shakespeare actually cleverly uses this sort of assonance to unify the poem’s beginning and end. “When” begins the poem, and “end” ends the poem. Shakespeare, a master poet, once again writes a beautifully complicated yet simply sonnet, tying it all together with elaborate assonance. Alliteration and internal rhyme also help to convey his grief in Sonnet 30.

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