Homework Help

What is an example of a pun in "Sonnet 1"?

wyoflash22's profile pic

Posted via web

dislike 1 like

What is an example of a pun in "Sonnet 1"?

1 Answer | Add Yours

litteacher8's profile pic

Posted (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

A pun used in “Sonnet 1” is a play on the word tender, meaning both young and money.

A pun is a play on words.  It often involves double meaning.  In this poem, we have a young man being encouraged to go forth and procreate.  He is in the spring of his youth, and has no children.  The speaker is encouraging him to

And only herald to the gaudy spring,

Within thine own bud buriest thy content,

And tender churl mak'st waste in niggarding

In this case, the “tender churl” is ironic, referring both to the idea that the young man is ripe and ready to start a family, and he should not spend his youth and beauty (tender, as in money), or waste it, because it will not stay long.  By not marrying and having children, he is wasting himself.


Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes