“Sonnet CXVI” by William Shakespeare
impediments – obstacles
tempests – storms
sickle – a pole with a hook, used for farming grain
Questions and Answers
1. The second line of the sonnet contains which poetic device(s)?
“Admit impediments” is an example of assonance, consonance, and internal rhyme.
2. “It is the star to every wandering bark” is an example of what literary device?
The speaker is comparing love to a star that guides lost ships without using like or as, so it is a metaphor.
3. Why is “Time” capitalized in the ninth line of the poem?
The speaker/poet has capitalized “Time” to signify its place as a subject and personified noun, “he”. The mention of the sickle implies Father Time.
5. How does the tone of this sonnet compare to that in Sir Thomas Wyatt’s poem, “The Lover Showeth How He is Forsaken of Such as He Sometime Enjoyed”?
The tone of Sir Thomas Wyatt’s poem is uncertain, disappointed, frustrated, and even angry. He feels that love is transient, unfair, and something that cannot be trusted. The tone is depressing and dark. Shakespeare’s sonnet, on the other hand, reflects on love as something that is solid, strong, unbreakable, and trustworthy. The tone is positive and passionate.
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