Does the  proposed view of love in Shakespeare's "Sonnet 116" function in the real world or is it simply a utopian ideal?Does the  proposed view of love in Shakespeare's "Sonnet 116" function in...

Does the  proposed view of love in Shakespeare's "Sonnet 116" function in the real world or is it simply a utopian ideal?

Does the  proposed view of love in Shakespeare's "Sonnet 116" function in the real world or is it simply a utopian ideal?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The "marriage of true minds" is friendship.  A reading of Shakespeare's sonnets will reinforce that Shakespeare often writes to his friend, especially in some of the earlier sonnets.  Of course, this friendship can also exist in a marriage. 

Those who are first friends more often have successful marriages since friendship is a love that knows no jealousy; it always perseveres.  It is a love totally of the mind/spirit.  The love that is "a marriage of true minds" is never selfish. The other is considered in all things.  Indeed, there are yet people capable of this level of love.  The problem with contemporary life is that it permits selfishness.

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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If you believe Shakespeare is speaking about a true "marriage of true minds" (intellectual, spiritual, and physical) then the view of love can "function in the real world," but anyone who thinks that infatuation (or simple physical love) will last would prove it to be a "utopian ideal."  Shakespeare gives his definition of love in this sonnet.  It is an "ever-fixed mark" and is "never shaken" even when it comes upon "tempests."  Love is also not engrossed with youth as it is "not Time's fool."  I will admit that few people truly achieve this definition in its entirety, but it should still be the goal of every lover.  In my opinion, Shakespeare's definition is the hardest to achieve if the physical aspect of love is its first focus.  Furthermore, Shakespeare's definition of love is the easiest to achieve if the intellectual aspect of love is its first focus.

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buxi | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

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No, it can only apply to romantic way of love, familial love is more like giving up things for your family taking care of your family and platonic would be like having to do duty towards your country.

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irum | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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There are many different kinds of love out there, such as romantic, familial, and platonic. Can the ideas posed in this poem apply to all of them?sonnet 116

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