Woe and Moan

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So we find ourselves actually reading Shakespeare again, only this time I have a better idea of what the poem is actually talking about. Not only does it seem easier to figure out, but the language that Shakespeare uses to get his message across seems easier, too.

Lines, "and heavily from woe to woe tell o'er/The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan" (10-11) really hammers the message across that the speaker in Shakespeare's sonnet, "When to the Session of Sweet Silent Thought." The reoccurring words "woe" and "moan" are used in the two lines back to back. This makes the reader really envision and connect to the speaker in a more powerful way that may have otherwise been overlooked due to the other images the words are sparking around it.

The word "woe" is actually found two other times earlier in the poem, which further enhances the significance of the word. "Moan" happens to fall into the same category by being mentioned before as well. By using reoccurring words at the beginning and at the end, the reader sees that the poem is meant to be continuous even though the sonnet ends with the word "end" (14). There is still the idea that "all losses are restored" (14) by the continual use of memories from the past. Shakespeare does a good job of pulling the reader in and in a way attempts to make the poem a part of the reader's memory by looping it back around.


Dianna Griffin said:

I didn't notice all the uses of "woe" and "moan" throughout the poem, but now that I do it does slightly change my perspective of it. I never really considered it to be a happy poem, but now that I see all the references to unhappy sounds, or crying, I can really tell that the person Shakespeare is describing, is extremely distraught. It's amazing what you can do with two little words.

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