Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How are Shakespeare's sonnets related to real life?

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Marietta Sadler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Shakespeare's sonnets are poems about love and beauty. In "Sonnet 116," he writes that "Love is not love / Which alters when it alteration finds." In other words, true love endures regardless of obstacles and does not change, or "alter," according to changing circumstances. Instead, true love is "an ever-fixed mark," that is reliable and steadfast. In "Sonnet 18," Shakespeare writes about how beauty is temporary. It, like "summer's lease," has "too short a date." He then declares, however, that beauty can endure through poetry.

These ideas are, of course, relatable to real life because all of us experience love in our lives, and all of us have some appreciation of beauty. We all, at some point in our lives, question what love is, and those of us who are older have most likely pondered upon the ageing process and the fact that beauty fades over time. In other words, Shakespeare's sonnets are related to real life because they address the existential concerns that we all wrestle with at some point in our lives.

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