in love with sighs (4) ] addicted to sad thoughts that result in deep and sorrowful sighs. "Sighs were considered deleterious to health, each sigh taking a drop of blood from the heart; compare 2H6 3.2.61: "blood-consuming sighs" (Blakemore Evans 156).
painted banquet (6) ] a lovely metaphor for the picture of the young friend that the poet clings to in his absence.
Awakes...delight (14) ] This brings us back to the first line of the poem and to the "league" between the heart and eye. Now both the poet's heart and his senses are mutually delighted.
Sonnet 47 is a continuation of Sonnet 46, and together they are classified as the eye-heart sonnets (along with Sonnet 24), addressed to the poet's dear friend. There are several theories regarding the identity of the friend, but he was likely Shakespeare's patron, the Earl of Southampton, although some suggest that he was the Earl of Pembroke, to whom the First Folio was dedicated. Many scholars regard the eye-heart Sonnets as more conventional and poetically uninspired than the other poems. In his book The Fickle Glass, Paul Ramsey has this to say about the effectiveness of Sonnet 47 and the others in the eye-heart group: "Few of the sonnets are finally, in my judgment, artificial in the bad sense, overwrought with showy elaboration or conceits which have little propriety to central meanings and feelings. The eye heart Sonnets 24, 46, 47; perhaps Sonnet 38 ("How can my Muse want subject to invent" ), which is partly redeemed by the well-turned compliment of the couplet..; Sonnet 45 ("The other two, slight air and purging fire"); Sonnet 88... and Sonnets 113 and 114, on flattery in seeing. Of these, only the eye-heart poems are seriously bothersome. In the sonnets occur patches of show, metaphorical twists which fail to come off, metrical and dictional posturings one could spare." He does qualify his critique with "So much though, is plangent, charged, powerfully imaged and sounded, deeply merged with theme, as to put any serious charge of affectation out of court" (163).
Lee, Sidney, Sir. A Life of Shakespeare. New York: Macmillan, 1916.
Ramsey, Paul. The Fickle Glass: A Study of Shakespeare's Sonnets. New York: AMS Press, 1979.
Shakespeare, William. The Sonnets. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Shakespeare, William. Shakespeare's Sonnets. Ed. A.L. Rowse. London: Macmillan, 1964.
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How to Cite this Article
Mabillard, Amanda. An Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 47. Shakespeare Online. 2000. (day/month/year you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/47detail.html >.