Sonnet 116 is one of the most famous love poems. The poem was written by William Shakespeare. In this poem the stanzas tell of different aspects of love. The first quatrain tells what love is not. The second quatrain tells what love is. The third quatrain tells more of what love is not. The last couplet is used to show the authors certainty. This form creates a great argument for the strength of true love.
Obviously, the poem is a sonnet; so it should follow a set of rules. A sonnet is a poem with fourteen lines of iambic pentameter with a fixed rhyme scheme. The Italian sonnets were the first with the rhyme scheme: abba abba cde cde or abba abba cd cd cd. When the English picked up this poem style, they changed the rhyme scheme to abab cdcd efef gg. Because English is harder to rhyme, the change was made to give the English a larger selection of words to rhyme. The rhyme scheme change also changed the structure from the Italian (octave and sestet) to the English (three quatrains and a couplet). The change in structure gave a different way to create an argument within the poem. This poem is an English sonnet.
The first quatrain states:.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds.
Admit impediments. Love is not love.
Which alters when it alteration finds,.
Or bends with the remover to remove.
The first quatrain tells what love is not. The first phrase "Let me not" is the author assuring saying, "I will not let." The second phrase, "to the marriage of true minds," is talking about true love despite physical limitation people put in marriage. The third phrase of the first sentence, "Admit impediments" makes the whole sentence say; that true love does not admit impediments. The second line finishes off by saying "Love is not love." This phrase and the next two lines basically say love doesn't change when it finds change; it also doesn't try to change the loved one.
The second quatrain states:.