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Sound and Meaning in Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare's verse is studded with alliteration and paronomasia. The more fundamental question of a patterned relationship between sound and meaning in his Sonnets has not been answered, partly because no method of uncovering such correspondences was available. However, once groups of sounds, specifically sonorant and obstruent sequences, are examined as the locus of the sound-meaning nexus, it emerges that Shakespeare consistently aligns these sequences with relational meanings defined by the dyad of freedom and constraint. The coherence between sound and sense is thus shown to be iconic.

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Sound and Meaning in Shakespeare's Sonnets

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