Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Sonnet 10

The tenth of the much acclaimed procreation Sonnets. This particular one is probably the most exciting yet as it almost directly addresses the issue of whether Shakespeare is writing to a lover in this series of Sonnets. However, it must be noted that the 'Love' referenced in this Sonnet does not in any explicable manner translate to sexual interaction probably at its most intense just a very strong friendship.
Line 1 immediately challenges the Fair Youth to admit he bears love for nobody seeing as he is not desirous of leaving the world an heir to his throne of beauty. Somewhat ironic as in the persona appeals to a 'love' between the two in the final couplet. The Fair Youth life is portrayed to be so loveless such that gross myopia fuels the antagonism towards offspring unchecked. At this point, it almost seems as if the Fair Youth lacks even self love, an incredible paradox given that this individual is described as quite simply the most beautiful creature alive. How is it then possible that one cannot love oneself is such a state?
The ending to the first quatrain further augment the notion that the Fair Youth is worth loving as all the world is said to bear affection for him. One would imagine that and children of his would be greeted with at least the same 'enthusiasm' and yet this is not enough to sway the Fair Youth as nothing short of "murderous hate" reigns supreme.   A hate so strong, so deadly, so heinous, it leaves the Fair Youth convinced he is better off killing off his legacy, better off leaving but a distant memory of himself, nothing more than a hope-filled modicum of what could have been.
Line 9 takes an interesting twist, a deviance from the attitude that was prevalent in the preceding Sonnets. Until now, Shakespeare was merely pleading with the Fair Youth, imploring him, the power structure was clearly defined and yet now the persona seems to have some sort of leverage, " O change thy thought that I may change my mind!" Why would the Fair Youth care what the persona thinks unless they have some sort of connection aside from what has been displayed before. It is almost like the level of intimacy has changed from the previous nine Sonnets.

The final couplet best illustrates the difference between this Sonnet and anything before it as the persona appeals to a love the Fair Youth may have for him. The same individual who loves absolutely nobody? Seems contradictory but Shakespeare thinks it will be enough to change the Fair Youth's mind so it just might be enough even if it is beyond the realms of rationality.