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William Shakespeare’s Warning

William Shakespeare uses “Sonnet 95” to reveal corruption of youth and beauty. More specifically, the sonnet speaks of the corruption of a young man due to his own “sins” (6) and sexual accomplishments and the glorification he earns from this. Shakespeare’s diction and meter clearly reveal this twisted tale of vice’s destruction of virtue. A critical analysis can evoke this tale and the warning Shakespeare makes to this beautiful young man regarding his life and promiscuous activities. Shakespeare reveals the beauty of the young man in the first line with words “sweet” (1) and “lovely” (1), but overshadows this character with implied “shame” (1). This is not the common meaning of shame but is the sin that blossoms after premarital sexual encounters. This traditional Shakespearean (abab) rhyme scheme further implies that this becomes more than shame, but “a canker in the fragrant rose” (2). “[F]lower” (2) in this line refers to this young man’s great beauty, but “canker” (2) destroys this beauty. The meaning that Shakespeare speaks of is a worm or maggot that matriculates inside and destroys the flower. The worm kills the flower from the inside out and is not discovered until the flower blooms. It can then be seen that the flower is destroyed, but not until the flower blossoms. The word, “spot” (3) in line 3 reinforces this image, referring to a blemish or disease inside the flower. This stain is the evil inside this young beautiful man, referred to as the “budding name” (3), which unknowingly shames him. This stain could be an internal vice or could possibly be the physical repercussions, (syphilis), of sexual promiscuity. The “sweets” (4) are the fine looks the character possesses, with which he is able to “enclose” (4) or hide his disease. Despite this grace and craftiness, Shakespeare emphasizes the destruction of the young man, with a spondee in the fourth foot o...

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William Shakespeare’s Warning. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 06:15, August 29, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/73601.html