Tone in Sonnet 55

Tone Examples in Sonnet 55:

Sonnet 55 2

"pace forth; your praise shall still find room..."   (Sonnet 55)

This line has a distinctly militaristic tone in its diction and meter. The fair youth will “pace forth,” evoking the image of a soldier marching off to war, which reiterates the aggressive tone and imagery of line 7. The image of the soldier is strengthened by the substantial style of the line which is commensurate with the line’s content. The line is made up of ten monosyllabic words, the majority of which both begin and end with consonant sounds. The heft of the words causes the poem’s pace to slow down, fittingly imitating a march.

"Shall you..."   (Sonnet 55)

With “shall you,” the speaker seems to be ordering the youth into action. As the creator of this poetic reality, the speaker is indeed in charge. Yet the choice to use “you” instead of “thou” maintains a respectful tone that places the youth socially above the speaker.