The persona commences the sonnet with lines: “Not marble, nor the glided monuments/ Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme”. These two lines immediately funnel the reader towards the theme of the poem as the persona ymbolically compares the monuments to the lyrics of poems. The persona believes that poetry is a preserver of immortality. He immediately confronts the reader with the subject of this poem – ‘preserver of immortality, by using imagery and diction such as “gilded monuments”. These beautiful gold plated monuments are built in the remembrance of the princes and preserve their memories. However as the poet compares the power of poetry to monument in the next line he also announces to the reader his idea of immortality.
The poet believes that immortality can outlive time through “these contents” however the monuments surrender to the age of time as the persona explains in the next quatrain. In the next quatrain, the persona further explores the theme however through a different comparison.
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Throughout this quatrain the poet supports his views about immortality by comparing the mightiness of this poetry, which is preserving immortality, against war, that shall destroy everything. The poet personifies war as wasteful war” which when shall “overturns statues”, and destroys everything. However “these contents”, the sonnet, will still live on until eternity. Overcoming war itself is a strong representation of the strength of words of this lyrical poem. The persona further glorifies the power of this “powerful” poem by using strong allusions such as “Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn/ The living record of your memory. ” Mars being a powerful Roman god of war is also observed as the God of