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Rhyme in Sonnet 55

Rhyme Examples in Sonnet 55:

Sonnet 55


"statues overturn..."   (Sonnet 55)

By saying "statues overturn" instead of "overturn statues," Shakespeare deftly sharpens the image of statues toppling and tumbling. There are only two words, but there are five syllables, and the alliteration of t sounds in "sta," "tues," and "turn" enhances the image of numerous statues toppling, tumbling, and overturning.

"shall shine more bright..."   (Sonnet 55)

The musicality of the phrase “shall shine more bright” serves as an example of the “shin[ing]” nature of the poem. “Shall shine” share a clear alliterative bond. The hard i sound in “shine” finds its repetition in “bright,” as does the r in more. The phrase is effective both aesthetically and rhetorically. The line is beautiful to the ear, and its beauty proves its own point about how brightly the poem’s subject shines.

"powerful rhyme..."   (Sonnet 55)

The second line begins with a repetition of the end rhyme of the first line. “Monuments” finds a near-perfect rhyme in “princes,” whose first syllable lands on the line’s first stress. By injecting the opening couplet with additional rhymes, the speaker bolsters his claim that this sonnet is a “powerful rhyme.”

"The living record..."   (Sonnet 55)

The speaker claims that effective poetry represents a “living record” of its subject. This is his strongest argument for poetry’s power over stone and statue. Poetry is, after all, both a written and oral form. The idea is that a “powerful rhyme” such as this will live on because it exists as both written and “living record,” rendering it impermeable to the destructive powers of war and natural decay. The musicality of the previous line, with its rich internal rhymes, bolsters this argument for the poem’s effectiveness as an oral form.

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