the subject and the verb. The reader is left with confusion at the end of the line as to where the sentence is headed, or what the speaker is trying to convey. The second line is an example of less severe enjambment because it ends before a dependent clause; “Love is not love” could stand on its own as a full sentence, so the line break here is not as jarring as the first line break. Still, the line is not punctuated, and the reader must continue on for a deeper explanation of the poem's meaning.
The last two lines employ a paradoxical conceit. If there is no such thing as true love, the poet says that neither has he ever written, nor has anyone ever experienced true love. However, because the poem has been written, it means the ...view middle of the document...
But the latter, is more powerful. It implies that I want to be with you, while also eliminating the possibility of there being anyone else.
The sonnet reminded me of the scripture passage in I Corinthians chapter 13 that goes over all that love is and isn't. The "love is patient, love is kind" passage that kids learn in Sunday school. I had never noticed before how often love is defined by what it is not. Verses 4-8, "[Love] does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love never fails. "
Beyond emphasis, litotes also helps to explain a complicated idea. Love is a complex abstraction. I'd wager that most people, if asked to explain it, wouldn't have an answer. I absolutely know I wouldn't have an answer. At least not a good one. But I think I could do a far better job explaining what it isn't - it isn't selfish, it doesn't end. In defining what love isn't through litotes, Shakespeare (and Paul) find a way to describe something we can't really put our finger on.
William Shakespeare Sonnet 116
This is a Shakespearean or English sonnet containing three four line quatrains and a two line couplet.
Lines 4, 8, 12 and 14 are end stopped lines and all remaining lines show enjambment.
The Volta is found in the standard location, between the third quatrain and the final couplet (lines 12 and 13).
1st Quatrain This quatrain speaks about the constancy and unchanging nature of love. Love does not alter when it finds an alteration in circumstances, nor does love change when the lovers are not faitful.