Sonnet 22 & 24
During Shakespeare’s lifetime he wrote many plays and poems which had become classics in the English Literature. The sonnets are Shakespeare’s most popular work, and a few of them have become the most widely read poems around the world. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, likely composed over an extended period from 1592 to 1598. Themajority of the sonnets from 1 to 126 are addressed to a young man, with whom the poet has an intense romantic relationship. The poet spends his first sonnets trying to convince the young man to marry and have children, beautiful children that will look just like their father, ensuring his immortality. His remaining sonnets focus on the power of poetry and pure love to defeat death and “alloblivious enmity”. In continuation you will read an interpretation and a brief analysis of the twenty second and twenty fourth sonnet. These sonnets are part of his first group of sonnets, they speak of love to a specific person, and the poet uses poetic devices to express his feelings as a beautiful art.
In Sonnet 22, Shakespeare talks about, and deluding himself that his affections are beingreturned by the youth, and he uses some poetic devices to express his feelings as a beautiful art. He declares that the youth’s beauty “Is but the seemly raiment of my heart, which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me”. To accept himself to his physical changes caused by aging, the poet argues that so long as he holds the youth’s affection, he and the youth are one and the same. He can resist timeand his own mortality because he measures his physical changes by how the young man ages. So long as the youth remains young, so will the poet. The image of the poet and the youth exchanging hearts is expressed in a highly intimate language. The poet affirms the youth that he will keep the youth’s heart “As tender nurse her babe from faring ill”. Such language takes up an exchange of affection, butit also reveals the problem of an older lover trying to dismiss the age difference between himself and his much younger lover. By the sonnet ends, the poet appears overly possessive of the youth, “Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain; Thou gavs’t me thine not to give back again.” The figures of speech used in this sonnet are personification, in the lines 1 and 2: I will never grow old aslong as you remain as young as youth itself, in which youthfulness is a person that never ages. Also, he employs alliteration and rhetorical question.
In Sonnet 24, Shakespeare represents with visual images the intangible, such as his feelings, written in metaphors. The poet wrote in this sonnet the findings of “where your image pictured lies”, he focuses on a meaning of “true” in the sense ofgenuine as opposed to counterfeit. The young man’s beauty is represented as a shape or as an appearance. Paintings, pictures, visual images, forms, shadows, allude to the impression that the youth’s true image is a mirage. The poet looks at the youth in adoration, and as a result becomes a private fantasy, self induced, which allows the poet to possess the youth’s beauty. By praising the youth, thepoet flatters himself as well. However, the concluding couplet raises doubts once again as to how authentic the poet’s description of the young man are. Also, of how important the young man’s physical appearance is as a reflection of his feelings and personality. In addition, the poet exposes the limits of truly getting to know the young man in any way other than through physical attraction.Therefore, the youth is represented as only a surface reality, with no sense of character. The figures of speech found in this sonnet are elaborated in the first eight lines, an extended metaphor of the poet as a painting onto which the youth’s image is painted. But the poet is defining what he sees as he discovers its power over him, as if love itself is the creation of a need in oneself where none...