Thursday, 30 June 2016

Sonnet 13

Shakespeare has appealed to the Fair Youth's heritage once before seemingly without much success, a number of contrasting and sometimes complimentary metaphors have ensued but now in Sonnet 13, he seeks to use his own affection towards the Youth as a motivation for him to consider and possibly implement the idea of procreation. Sonnet 13 also reflects a conspicuous leap in the intensity of intimacy between the persona and the Fair Youth as it is the first time words like "Love" and "My dear love..." are used.
Lamentation ensues in the first line, "O that you were yourself," with the persona seemingly appealing to a time when things were different. A time when the Fair Youth was possibly more understanding or a time when this ever evolving beauty manifested itself in a more lasting manner, a form less ravaged by time, a form not so near its ultimate demise. The keening continues into line 2 with an assertion-cum- reminder that the Fair Youth's allure only exists as long as he lives thereby further postulating the need for procreation. The next line further augments this notion in the most perspicuous manner; a straightforward assertion, "Against this coming end you should prepare."
As if to say the metaphorical approach has been ineffective it seems the persona has turned to clarity so as to make certain his wish is granted. Shakespeare's  writing is customarily saturated with metaphoric relevance such that in the first thirteen Sonnets this may be the pinnacle of pleas and entreaties. The culmination of a crescendo, maybe the moment the Fair Youth is to start believing or the quest to convince him assumes a renewed vigour.
In a fairly swift return to convention, the Fair Youth's beauty is likened to a house. Who in their right mind would let such a house succumb to the elements with full knowledge of what might save it the persona asks. Doubtless the Youth will have to look within and decide whether to be the irrational carefree housekeeper ( killing off his own beauty) or be the responsible individual and do what is required to maintain the metaphoric house ( his beauty).

The final couplet is the highlight of Sonnet 13 as it contains an unequivocal show or confirmation of the intensity of affection borne by the persona for the Fair Youth. He is referenced as "... my love" for the first time thereby marking a shift in tone henceforth. A metamorphosis likely to herald a new breed of metaphors and imagery in the Sonnets that follow and hopefully a change of heart from the Fair Youth.