Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Shakespeare

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I need help writing a thesis statement for a research essay I have to do.  This is the question: What ideas of love, friendship, and marriage are displayed in Shakespearean sonnets, such as 30, 55,...

I need help writing a thesis statement for a research essay I have to do.  This is the question:

What ideas of love, friendship, and marriage are displayed in Shakespearean sonnets, such as 30, 55, and 116.

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Good question! The answers above talk about structuring your essay, so let me help you come up with some ideas on what points you could actually make.

Shakespeare’s sonnets aren’t written to his wife, which is an interesting first point. There are two lovers involved: the Fair Youth and the Dark Lady. Arguably, the sonnets depict different types of love; if we look at Sonnet 30, we see an example of the sort of all-encompassing love the poet declares for his “friend,” which his mistress never quite warrants:

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,  

All losses are restored, and sorrows end.

In this poem, the poet is mourning everyone he has ever loved and lost, but says that having his newest love makes his heart whole again, effectively.

Sonnet 116 is a classic often read at weddings, but please note, it isn’t about marriage. The “marriage of true minds” means the joining or unifying of true minds: this sonnet falls within the Fair Youth cycle, and obviously the poet...

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