Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Sonnet 9

Sonnet 9 is the ninth Sonnet in the procreation sequence and makes for an ever escalating display of emotion and anger from the persona. Technically Sonnet 9 and 10 form a diptych though only facilitated by the final couplet of Sonnet 9.
The persona has switched from an accusatory even agitated tone at times to a more understanding and accommodative attitude. Instead of out-rightly arguing that the Fair Youth is wrong, it seems the poet is on a quest to understand the Youth's fears and provide worthwhile solutions. Is this a more effective approach?
"Is it fear to wet a widow's eye," might it be that the Fair Youth is so selfless that his antagonism to having offspring is based on the fear that he may leave behind a grieving widow when he meets his demise? Seems rather unlikely yet perfectly justifiable, who would want to knowingly want to cause pain to a loved one? However, nobody else fails to have a family because of fear of death, does that question its authenticity as a reason?
William Shakespeare certainly thinks so as he asserts that therein lies an irony in the Fair Youth's plan, by depriving the world of an heir he will cause thoughtless pain not just on 'one' widow but the entirety of mankind. What good exists in saving one individual at the expense of all humanity? Use of the word "wail" to depict the forthcoming pain serves to reflect an intense mode of hurt, mourning entwined with excessive lamentation for without an heir to beauty's throne the world is of a much lesser significance.
A comparison of how the world as the widow  and an actual widow would react and cope is employed from line 7 to best illustrate and assist in weighing the options available to the Fair Youth. The conventional widow(private widow) has the eyes of her children, their form, their voices to remind her of her husband and yet the world would be left with nothing to serve as remembrance, a stark emptiness, a void never to be filled except b the bearing of children. Surely this argument must be enough to convince the Fair Youth to change his mind and yet Shakespeare turns to the now ever-relevant theme of 'wastage' and senseless destruction. A gift so important is to be is to be wasted, to never be given away, the persona appeals to the conscience leaving the subject of the Sonnet to question whether they should indeed misuse the power of beauty bestowed upon him.

The final couplet caps it all off with the greatest accusation yet. It is either the Fair Youth fulfills his duty or establishes himself as a narcissistic and loveless individual. Food for thought to conclude the Sonnet. However, is the Fair Youth worried about the World's perception of him?