Shakespeare's Sonnets By William Shakespeare Summary and Analysis Sonnet 107

Summary

Whereas the previous sonnet compared the past with the present, Sonnet 107 contrasts the present with the future. The poet's favorite theme of immortality through poetic verse dominates the sonnet.

In the first quatrain, the poet contends that his love for the young man is immortal. Although neither he nor "the prophetic soul" knows what the future holds, the poet maintains that only one thing is certain: his continuing affection for the youth, "Supposed as forfeit to a confined doom." The duration of the poet's love cannot be predicted. Nothing, he says, "Can yet the lease of my true love control." His love is not subject to time, nor controlled by uncertainty about the youth, nor by death itself.

In the second and third quatrains, the poet catalogues various images that emphasize endurance over change. These images parallel his immutable love for the youth, which he expands on when he claims that even death holds no sway over him and his sonnets: "I'll live in this poor rime, / While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes." Other people — "tribes" — may succumb to time's decay but not the poet.

The final couplet speaks of the young man's deliverance from tyranny and death by means of the sonnets, a now-familiar theme of the poet's. Antithetical images of events, changing from peaceful, stable times to turmoil and civil strife, are of no concern to the poet, who asserts, as he does elsewhere, that the young man will triumph over all that the future has to offer: "And thou in this shalt find thy monument / When tyrants' crests and tombs of brass are spent." Poetry becomes prophecy.

Glossary

augurs fortune tellers.

presage predict.

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