Sonnet 129 is one of Shakespeare’s most profound pieces of poetry. This sonnet contains figurative language and other poetic devices in each quatrain that help the reader understand the emotions and dangers of lust. Shakespeare also uses interesting punctuation choices that help form the sonnet. Even though the reader does not know who this poem is addressed to, it does seem to be describing a personal experience.
In the first quatrain, we are introduced to this theme of lust that is carried throughout the poem. We see a description of lust through different words, perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame, savage, extreme, rude, cruel, and not to trust. These word all contain a dark theme. Which leads to an idea that lust is evil. Many people blame lust for everything that lets them down in life.
Longing, fulfillment, and memory are the three themes of quatrain two. The second and third lines of quatrain two state, ” Past reason hunted; and no sooner had, Past reason hated, as a swallowed bait.” This further explains the three themes of this quatrain, by stating that when lust is longing, the fulfillment of that longing is hunted.
In quatrain three, Shakespeare describes how one desires lust. He also describes how lust is mad in all three of its stages. The theme of memory is included in this quatrain because it states, “Mad in pursuit and in possession so; Had, having, and in quest to have extreme.” This describes how whether you have had this feeling of lust or not, it sticks in you memory and you crave it, like you crave a candy bar everyday. In quatrains one and two Shakespeare uses extreme language, until we reach quatrain three, where he uses words like drea, joy, and bliss.
In the couplet, Shakespeare states “All this the world well knows; yet none know well to shun the heavens that leads men to this hell.” In these two lines, the author describes how the whole world knows that lust is a bad thing, yet no one knows how to shun lust in order to avoid the shame of it.
This sonnet by Shakespeare is one of his best pieces of poetry. The author describes this theme of lust and how people never know how to shun it, yet they know it is bad.