Aesthetic Multiplicity in Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Chunli MA


This article illustrates the aesthetic multiplicity of Shakespeare’s Sonnets by way of interpreting how the images in the Sonnets produce multi-layered meanings. The image, whose essence consists not only in a fusion of affection with scenes, but more in creating “image beyond image”, “ideas beyond speech”, is the soul of poetry. They are adopted to display the poet’s subjective feelings and thoughts and to transform the abstract and intangible ideas into concrete and graphic pictures for rich implications and strong artistic appeal. This article argues that the beauty of the image comes from its fuzziness and indeterminacies, which leave enough space for readers to imagine. In the Sonnets, Shakespeare applies numerous images to enrich the poems’ connotation which could arouse reader’s wild imagination, ponderings and even arguments. The magic of the miraculous sonnets lies in these aesthetic factors and the consequent aesthetic effects, and lies in the never-ending illustration and the hidden charms.


Aesthetic multiplicity; Image; The Sonnets; Shakespeare

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