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Shakespeare's Sonnet 23

            Shakespeare's sonnet 23 embodies the speaker's intense but also restrained love due to his timidity and tizzy. By using metonymy, repetition and choosing effective diction, Shakespeare expresses his deep but silent love to the young man in the poem which make readers resonate with such a complex emotion. Having true love for the first time, and perhaps the only time in his life, the speaker finds it hard to use language to express it clearly and fluently. Lines nine to twelve of Sonnet twenty three speak for him:.
             "O! let my books be then the eloquence.
             And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,.
             Who plead for love, and look for recompense,.
             More than that tongue that more hath more express'd" "(l. 9-12).
             Starting with an exclamation, the speaker begin to declare his sophisticated emotion in line nine. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), "eloquence " means "the action, practice, or art of expressing thought with fluency, force, and appropriateness, so as to appeal to the reason or move the feelings " . The speaker is not able to express his deep love to the young man orally because his lack of the experience and nervous hesitancy due to the magnitude of his love. The only way to express his mind fluently and effectively is by writing. He would like to melt his affection into the words inside the books relatively calmly so that the love can be conveyed accurately without misconception and the young man can feel its sincerity and depth.
             In line ten there is a phrase "dumb presagers " which is hard to be understood. According to the OED, "dumb " means "without the power of making their voice effectively heard; without any voice in the management of affairs. " Presagers are people or things that predict something. Certainly it is very hard to predict things which have not happened yet and it is inevitable to make mistakes if a presager says too much about the future. Also, the speaking breast actually says nothing, although it wishes to speak.

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