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Transcript of Sonnet 71
"No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O, if, I say, you look upon this verse
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse.
But let your love even with my life decay,
Lest the wise world should look into your moan
And mock you with me after I am gone.
The tone of this sonnet is in a depressing fashion in that he talks about his own death, but also comforting because he tells everyone to not mourn his death.
This sonnet personally made us feel comforted in knowing that he didn't want people to mourn over his death but instead move on and prosper from it. He tells us to love even when you have lost which is a very encouraging section of this and gives us a feeling of hopefulness.
Structure of 71
This follows an A,B,A,B,C,D,C,D,E,F,E,F,G,H rhyme scheme
This sonnet contains three sentences and fourteen stanzas.
It contains a couplet in stanzas thirteen and fourteen.
He uses a lot of commas and semi-colons in this sonnet.
Don't be upset with my death, embrace it instead.
Don't love me anymore once I am gone, but instead love my memory.
If thinking of me once I am gone makes you sad or upset then cease to think of me.
Mood and Tone
The Turn (Volta) of the Sonnet
"No longer mourn for me when I am dead"
"But let your love even with my life decay,"
"That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot/ If thinking on me then should make you woe."
Imagery, Literary Devices, etc.
He uses intense imagery when he says "From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:" and "Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell".
To add a bit of rhythm to the poem he rhymes the ending words at the end of every other stanza
The turning point in this sonnet does not truly occur
until the couplet (stanzas thirteen and fourteen) at the very end of the sonnet itself. He goes from talking about not mourning his death to if he does mourn he will be ridiculed by others for it.
The Overall Theme
The overall theme of this story is that when someone passes, you should not sit around and mourn for their death, you should move on a love the memory of them. But then it contradicts itself by saying that if the memory of the one who has passed saddens you, then forget about them.
He says that in death, you should not mourn for it, you should move on from it the same person as you were before it.
By William Shakespeare