Create a 5 pages page paper that discusses the incommunicability of language. By comparing the use of language in Shakespeares Sonnet 18 and Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author — both intended for mature, educated audiences — to the more modern novel Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J.K. Rowling intended for a less mature, less educated audience, it is possible to see how truth is questioned through language.
Shakespeare’s tone in Sonnet 18 is playful and ironic as he subtly pokes fun at the Romantic language that was then informing literature. He uses formalized constructions to build up an idealized sense of his female character consistent with the concepts considered important by the Romantics, “Shall I compare thee to a summers day, / Thou art more lovely and more temperate” (Shakespeare, 1969: 1456/1-2). However, he never actually tells his audience anything about this person. All the audience is permitted to know about her is that she exists, even if only in Shakespeare’s mind. This levity within the very formalized, academic poetic world was out of step with his contemporaries.
Despite the levity, Shakespeare used a very formalized style, informed by the newly introduced Italian sonnet style but with a twist. Shakespeare sticks to the 14 line structure and the iambic pentameter expected for a sonnet, but he follows his own rhyme scheme that blends more comfortably with the English language (Furniss & Bach, 2007: 579, 581, 593). This scheme follows an abab cdcd efef gg pattern. It gave him greater flexibility in matching the rhyme. Even then, he found it necessary to stretch the rhyme a bit, as in lines 9-12: “But thy eternal summer shall not fade, / Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’ st. / Nor shall death brag thou wander’ st in his shade, / When in eternal lines to time thou grow’ st.” Combined with the relaxed approach taken by his tone, the formal structure of the poem makes it difficult for a modern audience to understand the joke.
Through .his use of language, Shakespeare brings his subject down from Romantic idealism to the everyday world of the common man.