Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hanann's Analysis of Sonnet 106

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So many poems are about beauty. Even in the Renaissance, writing about beauty was beating a dead horse. But even though beauty is a common subject, Shakespeare manages to defamiliarize it by using ancient authors to give the poem authority and a unique perspective. Rather than using the poem to immortalize beauty or compare it, like in other poems, Shakespeare combines the collective power of ancient poets to describe beauty he’s incapable doing justice to. He then says that he, the author, is incapable to capture such beauty, but by using the ancient writers he is able to create a timeless tribute to his subject. This makes Shakespeare seem both humble and a master poet. 


  1. I hadn't considered that Shakespeare defamiliarizes beauty in a way when he praises the beauty of the past. Most people feel that what they find beautiful must seem beautiful to everyone else as well. We forget that through time standards and ideals change. Though I don't think this was a main point of his sonnet, I do agree that it could be looked into more.

  2. I think that's a huge part of the appeal of Shakespeare- he is able to take overused and perhaps rather abused tropes and turn them into ideas that are fresh and new. I like your observation of that.