Shakespeare’s Sonnets

A look at the theme of destructive power in the sonnets of William Shakespeare.

This paper discusses how an underlying theme in much of the literature of the Renaissance is the destructive power that was prevalent in the time of which it was written and how this destructive power aspect to literature is particularly prominent in Shakespeare?s sonnets. It examines how, on the surface, the sonnets may simply seem like the lyrical masterpieces, which they are, and shows how an analysis of the individual sonnets and lines can bring to the surface the deeper meaning, which Shakespeare had intended for the audience to notice. It also looks at how his metaphors and ideas in the sonnets are still as relevant in today?s society as they were in the Renaissance.
The theme of man versus himself is also brought into play when Shakespeare writes Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel (8). The young man is an enemy to himself because by refusing to have children. In a sense, he is being cruel to himself for bringing an extinction to his own beauty and that of his offspring. This theme is prevalent throughout literature. People in society sometimes become too concerned with their own actions and lives to think about others. Shakespeare addresses the potential that this young man has to harm his own existence and that of the world, bringing to life the theme that one man can make a difference and leave an impact on the world.