Read the following poems by William Shakespeare and write an essay about the poems in which you address the following questions.
How does the poem work? How would you explicate its meaning? What does the poem accomplish aesthetically, intellectually, and/or philosophically?
If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
Injurious distance should not stop my way;
For then despite of space I would be brought,
From limits far remote, where thou dost stay.
No matter then although my foot did stand
Upon the farthest earth remov’d from thee;
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land,
As soon as think the place where he would be.
But, ah! thought kills me that I am not thought,
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,
But that so much of earth and water wrought,
I must attend time’s leisure with my moan;
Receiving nought by elements so slow
But heavy tears, badges of either’s woe.
The other two, slight air, and purging fire
Are both with thee, wherever I abide;
The first my thought, the other my desire,
These present-absent with swift motion slide.
For when these quicker elements are gone
In tender embassy of love to thee,
My life, being made of four, with two alone
Sinks down to death, oppress’d with melancholy;
Until life’s composition be recured
By those swift messengers return’d from thee,
Who even but now come back again, assured
Of thy fair health, recounting it to me:
This told, I joy; but then no longer glad,
I send them back again, and straight grow sad.
The sonnets speak for truth concerning the idea of life that is fleeting. The journey may seem distant and wearisome but in due time , one would always reach the end of the road. The literary pieces reveal that there is life beyond . One may not be able to conspicuously see it it now but the constant journey in life would lead to perceiving the destiny enshrined in everyone. The sonnets present realities about human existence, where nothing stays in permanence. As time swiftly flies so as the chances bestowed upon each man. No one could hold of eternity neither anybody could stop the time from passing. The physical strength one may flaunt now will soon wither and everything rests to the end. The sonnets , with the employment of symbols and metaphors , vividly described the man’s bargain for life and existence . The agony of seeing the end of the horizon and the inability to come back proves painful , however, the ability to accept things as they are provides one with the consolation , the life could offer least – hope.
Shakespeare succeeds in his attempt to bring into our individual consciousness the truth and pains of temporary existence. He has impressed upon his readers the essence of realizing to let go of things should the time reckon them to eternity. The articulated thoughts concerning the absence of somebody one loves still reflect the hope clinging that though, one is gone, his memories still linger and go with him as he trods the path to eternity. The mention of slight air and purging fire added to the great imagery the sonnet contains. Using them as the author’s metaphorical reference, the readers will better realize that there is indeed sweetness in the pain of losing and leaving.
Sonnets 44 & 45 are testaments to man’s high regard for life and how he values the things there in. Significantly, the author shares with us his idealism and what he hopes for in life. The texts are sources of inspiration to behold and reflection of life to look at. Human existence may be burdensome and chaotic at times, but that is the way things are. What is left for man is for him to brave the tests of time no matter what it unfolds before him. Face it with courage and determination that in opportuned moment , he’ll emerge triumphant amidst misery and despair.
Life has to go on , though the way seems hard. Man must always keep his faith to that Great Divine – the source of everything.