William Shakespeare's Sonnet No 116 (Let me not to the marriage of true minds..) :Argumentative Technique



Shakespeare's Sonnet No 116 (Let me not to the marriage of true minds..) is an emphatic Statement on the permanence of love, a love which by its very nature defies time. The sonnet assert that love is unalterable, irremovable and constant, that
           " Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks
             But bears it out even to the age of doom”
In order to establish this central thesis, Shakespeare uses a specifically argumentative technique. First he gives a proposal;
            " Let me not to the mariage of true minds
                          Admit impediments - - - --  -- - -- "
Within his initial proposition tusks a definition of love -- love is “a marriage of true minds ", the word 'marriage' suggesting complete union of perfect merger, Shakespeare proceeds to argue and establish the validity of his proposition. He begins in the true fashion of a rhetorical argument by defining love in terms of negatives:
                             " - Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds , or bends with the removes to remove ".

Thus, he first establishes his point that if any emotional attachment is removable, or if the object of such emotional involvement is transferable, then such emotion should not be confused with true love. True love for Shakespeare can never find any alteration or removal.

Shakespeare proceeds with argument with emphatic negation of any possibility of removal or alteration of love that he has just spoken of in lines 3 and 4 - - - - -- "oh no!"
Then he continues with his basic argument now proceeding to define in a straight forward manner what love really is.
                 “It is an ever fixed mark
                   That looks on tempests and if never shakes”

Shakespeare, thus, begins to offer images in order to establish his argument. He begins with the image of a beacon in a light - house a flashing light used especially to guide pilot when landing which constantly emits light and which can withstand the terrible tempests on the sea. Shakespeare suggests that love is such a faculty of the mind that it constantly emits light in the hearts of lovers who can with stand the tempest of life. He proceeds with another image in support of his argument in favour of constant nature of love.
                  " It is the stars to every wandering bank " ---

Shakespeare now compares love with the polestars, believed to be steadfast, never changing its position in the sky. As the fined position of the pole - star helps erring seamen to be guided back to their right course, similarly love can guide erring man in their journey of life to their right paths.



          Again he builds his argument in terms of negatives:
                  “Love’s not Time's fool - - - - - - -"

Like a seasoned arguers, Shakespeare negates the idea that love is subservient to time. Love does not, unlike a fool, serve the whims and fancies of its master. Time is not the master of love. Though time can consume by its devouring power physical beauty ('rosy lips and cheeks "), it does not have the power to devour love. Thus he comes to his most emphatic statement that love as an immortal passion continues to exist through out time and will exist "even to the edge of doom ". 
                  After the final assertion of thesis, he affects a distanced posture and throws his statement opens to evaluation or criticism. In a tone of mock - modesty he says:
                " If this be error and upon me proved
                   I never writ, nor no man ever loved”
            
This is a very tactful way assisting the validity of this argument, because it is impossible to prove that Shakespeare never wrote poetry or that love never haunted the hearts of human individuals. Thus, he uses the argumentative technique in his Sonnet no 116 to a great triumph, concludes that love is essentially immortal, permanent, inarguable and unfathomable. 
 
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