Sonnet 10 is composed as one of the many William Shakespeare’s sonnets. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born in Warwickshire, England. Everybody remembers him for the drama “Romeo and Juliet” among his many other beautiful contributions to art and literature.
Shakespeare held importance to love, life, death and nature; his poetry and drama mostly revolve round such subjects. In this poem, part of the message is (a) placing virtue above pleasure (b) love is give and take. The person addressed in the poem, pretend not to possess affection towards any; all in the name of maintaining virtue: “For shame, deny that thou bear’st love to any/ Who for thyself art so unprovident.” The poet considered such act to be very unwise and self inflicting kind of pain.
At the extreme of the poem, the poet maintained that love is give-and-take; therefore urged the shy personality to fall in love for the sake of him: “Make thee another self, for love of me”.
The poem can be paraphrased thus: In pretence, you claim no affection for anyone and remained unfair to yourself. In reality, you would have been loved by many yet your look is that of someone without a loving heart because you wear such a “murderous hate” on face for not giving in to love whereas finding romantic pleasure which is capable of recovering your lost passion should be your focus. Oh, change your perspective, and I promise to be there for you! Can hatred ever be better than gentle love? Be as gracious as you look or rather let your kindheartedness make you a changed person for the sake of my love. So that beauty may still find a dwelling place inside your heart.
Structurally, this is another of many William Shakespeare’s sonnets with and end rhyme scheme of ABAB except for the concluding two lines which form a couple. As usual, the diction is Elizabethan.
Considering the poem speaker’s point of view, the poem began with a second person’s point of view with the use of “thou” plus others such as “thyself” “thy” “thine” “thee” which are scattered within the sonnet. There was also a first person singular expression in line 9 “…that I may change my mind”.
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Enunwa S. Chukwudinma
(the Leo with wings flying)