Critical Analysis of Sonnet 30

Shakespeare uses structure, sound devices and diction to set up his argument and convey his unhappiness and the mournful tone.
The Elizabethan sonnet structure is used. This consists of three quatrains and a rhyming couplet. This structure, along with the first words of each couplet, help one to group ideas and identify elements of the argument that Shakespeare is using in his sonnet. In the first quatrain the speaker says that “When” he is looking back on his life, (second quatrain) “Then” he cries and is distraught, (third quatrain) “Then” he moans, (couplet) “But” when he thinks about his friend he is happy again. Shakespeare sets up his argument clearly by using the Elizabethan sonnet structure.
The use of sound devices is prominent in this sonnet. Shakespeare uses repetition and alliteration to convey the speaker’s mood in the sonnet - grief. The repetition of the word “woe” in line 10 emphasizes his woeful feelings and so his misery. This adds to the mood of the sonnet.
In line 1 there is repetition of the “s” sound in “sessions of sweet silent”. The soft sound that is created gives the sonnet a quiet, relaxed atmosphere. The “s” sound could almost resemble whispering and sets the mood of this quatrain as thoughtful and contemplative. In line 4, the use of the “w” sound in “woes new wail my dear times’ waste” suggests heavy breathing that one experiences before crying, which comes in the next line “I drown an eye”. As the speaker is on the verge of crying, we can tell that he in unhappy which adds to the sorrowful tone at this section in the sonnet. In lines 8 and 9 the alliteration in the repetition of the “m” and “gr” sounds is used. These loud heavy sounds suggest moaning, wailing and the intense crying of the speaker, as he physically expresses his unhappiness at the friendships he has lost. The mood in these lines is one of despair, distress and misery.
The diction can be seen to have three themes; legal, financial and the poet’s sorrow....