Create a Critical Observation Between Sting’s Song and Sonnet 35

In five to seven sentences of Standard English, create a critical observation between Sting’s lyrics and Sonnet 35. Be sure to incorporate one poetic device into your examination of these two works.

Consider Me Gone, lyrics by Sting

There were rooms of forgiveness
In the house that we share
But the space has been emptied
Of whatever was there
There were cupboards of patience
There were shelfloads of care
But whoever came calling
Found nobody there

After today, consider me gone

Roses have thorns, and shining waters mud
And cancer lurks deep in the sweetest bud
Clouds and eclipses stain the moon and the sun
[From: ]
And history reeks of the wrongs we have done

After today, consider me gone

I’ve spent too many years at war with myself
The doctor has told me it’s no good for my health
To search for perfection is all very well
But to look for Heaven is to live here in Hell

After today, consider me gone

Sonnet 35

No more be grieved at that which thou hast done:
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud,
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.

All men make faults, and even I in this,
Authorizing thy trespass with compare,
Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss,
Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are;

For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense –
Thy adverse party is thy advocate –
And ‘gainst myself a lawful plea commence.
Such civil war is in my love and hate

That I an accessary needs must be
To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.


About bsullivan35

I am an English teacher working with great students at an independent school in Ct.
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23 Responses to Create a Critical Observation Between Sting’s Song and Sonnet 35

  1. Alton Sioussat says:

    The song Consider Me Gone by Sting has many similarities to Sonnet 35 by William Shakespeare. In the second verse of the song Sting directly quotes the opening stanza of Sonnet 35. This stanza shows how not everyone is perfect, and no matter how great something is, It always will have it’s flaws. Shakespeare uses juxtaposition in the last line of this stanza when he talks about a loathsome canker living in sweetest bud. This contrast allows the phrase to have a greater effect on the reader. Sting uses the same stanza in his song. He uses Shakespeare’s stanza to demonstrate his own theme of imperfection, and forgiveness. The stanza is used in two extremely different contexts, but it this conveys the same thing.

  2. Nick Matera says:

    Sting’s song had some very similar lines written in his song that were in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 35. The entire second stanza in the lyrics was a modernized version of the first couplet in the sonnet. Sting makes it more relevant today with his word choice by replacing the word “canker” with “cancer”. I think that Sting ripped off some powerful lines from Shakespeare but it remained his own piece of creative work. The lines are being used in a different media, music, and i think that this is a boundary that Sting was allowed to cross.

  3. bsullivan35 says:

    Interesting content above. Keep up the thoughtful insights. Also be mindful of the FANBOYS Comma rules we have been learning to help punctuate your two independent clauses. Regarding the big picture here, reflect on these famous lines from an essay that T. S. Eliot wrote. Has anyone heard this idea before?

    “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion.”

    T.S. Eliot (1888–1965). The Sacred Wood. 1921.

  4. Will Goodwin says:

    In Sting’s song Consider Me Gone, and in Sonnet 35 by William Shakespeare, it is fairly obvious that Sting shared some lines from the Shakespeare’s sonnet in his song. An example of line sharing is in the third stanza of Sting’s song, which starts as “roses have thorns, and shining waters mud”. This line is almost exactly the same as Shakespeare’s line in the first stanza of his sonnet “Roses have thorns, and silver mountains mud”. It is fairly obvious to see that all Sting did was switch waters for mountains. There is also a large element of juxtaposition in both the song and the sonnet, for example, in the second stanza of Sting’s song he says “And cancer lurks deep in the sweetest bud” and in the sonnet, the original line “a loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud”. Again, all Sting did was change a word, but the difference between cancer and sweetest bud is a worthy juxtaposition.

  5. oliviafiallo says:

    Both Sting and William Shakespeare write with many poetic elements. Sting’s Consider Me Gone expresses anger and sadness about a failing relationship between him and perhaps a girlfriend. Similarly, in Sonnet 35, Shakespeare, illustrates anger and sadness toward a failing friendship he has experienced. Both authors use cacophony to express the angry overtone. Cacophony is a poetic element that is harsh sounding words used in context. Sting uses the words “emptied”, “nobody”,”gone”, “cancer”, and “war”. Shakespeare writes words like “grieved”, “loathsome”, “done”, “corrupting”, “trespass”, “war”, “hate”, “sourly”, and “robs”. None of these words sound pleasant such as rainbow or butterfly. Instead they all bring bad thoughts and feelings to our minds. Each word can be connected with a bad experience. These bad feelings are the same feelings that Sting and Shakespeare felt when their relationships came to an end.

  6. Brandon Shrair says:

    Both Sting’s song, “Consider Me Gone” and Shakespeare’s Sonnet 35 share a lot in common in terms of background information and the use of connotation to shape their writing/song. In Sonnet 35, Shakespeare writes, “Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud…” which goes on to further emphasize that good is eternally attached to evil, or positive to negative. Partway through Sting’s song he very closely paraphrases these same lines about roses having thorns, and then adds in “But to look for Heaven is to live here in Hell” at the end of his song. This particular phrase leads me to believe he was trying to further talk about the idea of good vs evil, and in attempting to explain how trying to find perfection leads to problems, he clarifies this point. Overall, they both attempt to prove this idea of good and evil being one single entity, although they go about this in separate ways.

  7. Jillian Kertanis says:

    Sting’s song Consider Me Gone shares similar quality to William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 35. Sting’s lyrics are a modernized version of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 35 in which Sting expresses the sadness and anger of a relationship falling out. Sting uses some of the same lines from Shakespeare’s Sonnet except changes of few words around. Sting mentions a line from Shakespeare’s Sonnet “Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud” only Sting changes “silver fountains” to “shining waters”. This change of only two words tells us that Sting is trying to modernize the words of Shakespeare while adding a little of himself into the mix. He seems that Sting admires the theme behind Shakespeare’s Sonnet and intended to interpret his version of this Sonnet.

  8. jport22 says:

    The song “Consider Me Gone” by sting is a clear copy of lyrics from Shakespeare’s sonnet 35 but they do not have the same message. Sting uses the “evil” lines in the beginning of sonnet 35 to express that he has had enough of all his troubles. This differs from the actual meaning of sonnet 35 because Shakespeare used these lines as examples to explain himself to someone he did wrong to. The sonnet represents an argument with words while Sting’s song “Consider Me Gone” is describing leaving his hardships behind.

  9. Hailey Burke says:

    Both Sting’s song and Sonnet 35 use personification to reiterate a message. For example the lyrics in the song say, “shining waters mud” which implies that water can mud. This is an example of personification to prove that even something beautiful can have negative characteristics. Sonnet 35 like the song uses a similar example, “silver fountains mud” to suggest that even great things may not be perfect and as wonderful as they seem. The personifications in both pieces help to convey the thought that even things that seem perfect always have negativities. The authors want the reader to realize that sometimes the problems cannot be seen because the unrealistic beauty of an object covers them up.

  10. JAMESREIMER says:

    Both William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 35 and Stings hit Consider Me Gone have something very strange in common. Despite being separated by hundreds of years both lines 2-3 in Sonnet 35 are the exact same lyrics found in the last stanza of Sting’s Consider Me Gone. For instance, “No more be grieved at that which thou hast done: Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud, Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun, and loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.” One cannot help to think Sting might have copied a little bit of Shakespeare’s work. Shakespeare use of imagery to prove that everything beautiful has faults much like him; Sting also uses the lines to point imperfections in beautiful things. While Shakespeare is talking about his own imperfections, Sting points out how even if something looks great it still contains its own flaws. In my opinion Stings uses Shakespeare lines to relay the message very well, as he brings it to a new medium of song.

  11. maxmanes says:

    It is very clear here that Stings lyrics are modeled around Shakespeare’s Sonnet number 35. He almost directly quotes certain lines to help show how he feels isolated and deeply disturbed. Nobody is able to make this points clearer than Shakespeare. That being said Sting takes the imagery that Shakespeare uses and alludes to the fact that cancer has stricken someone from within. The images Shakespeare creates have the same effect as the images Sting uses them for. A clear picture is painted in the lines “and cancer lurked deep in the sweetest bud” representing someone sting seems to feel is a great person can have something wretched growing within them. Shakespeare directly stated this line in his poem with canker being the original line for cancer. Sting has just changed the word to a more common enemy that people face and can relate to today.

  12. bxzhxu says:

    In both Consider Me Gone by sting and sonnet 35 by William Shakespeare, they shared a few same lines. In the lyrics, it says, “ Cancer lurks deep in the sweetest bud.”(13) The quotation is using to personification to explain the idea that all the wonderful things are having some dark sides. In sonnet 35, Williams uses personification, “ roses have thorns, and shining waters mud”(2), to imply that similar idea of how beautiful things are not all good. The personification is helping to bring out the ideas that perfect things are not perfect in fact and the beautiful appeal might cover their dark sides. The writers are suggesting the readers not to judge things by outside.

  13. Emilio Rocha says:

    It is pretty interesting how two works of art separated by hundreds of years have so many similarities and similar meanings. Both artists describe a time of very sad grieving, while fighting and trying to get over that hump. Shakespeare and Sting use symbolism very specifically and they both mean the same thing. “Roses have thorns, and shining waters mud and cancer lurks deep in the sweetest bud.”(Sting) Shakespeare literally wrote the same lines but with different language in his sonnet. They both describe the most pleasant things in life can also hide the most darkest secrets and death related themes. In Sting’s case is cancer and in Shakespeare’s its mankind’s faults. Both works of art again portray a struggle in an individual’s life and how they overcome it.

  14. Gina Nasiadka says:

    Both writers are both similar in their tone, in the sense of both a bit depressing, but also admitting. They are not exactly humble, but they are true to way they say, and admit their faults in their words. With Sting’s words and lyrics, he explains how “history reeks of the wrongs we have done”. Here he is admitting how we as humans are not perfect, and we all do indeed do wrong things at times. With Shakespeare’s sonnet however, he also uses the same sort of tone. He is humble not only to man kind but himself as well, explaining how “All men make faults, and even I in this”. He is true to himself and mankind in general with how they make faults. This is how the two are similar, with their humble/admitting sort of tone and describing how mankind have and still do make faults.

  15. nick7hudson says:

    The relationship that Sting’s song “Consider me Gone” has to Shakespeare’s sonnet 35, is that lines 2-4 are clearly sung in the song. With the first line containing the roses and the fountains, there is beauty present. The next line containing the clouds and eclipses the same beauty, along with metaphor because these tow things affect the moon and the sun, comparing them together. The sonnet tells a story as well, relating back to a struggling individual who deals with both love and hate. All these three lines have the theme of beauty present and I believe that is what Sting is looking to do in his song as well, bringing out the beauty in his lyrics.

  16. Andres Fernandez says:

    In Sting’s song “Consider Me Gone”, and William Shakespeare’s sonnet 35, there are many similarities. Sting quotes Shakespeare’s second line, “Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud” but instead he says, “Roses have thorns, and shinning waters mud”. Even though there is a slight difference, the concept is the same; they both are using symbolism to represent something bigger then that is there. The roses and the waters/fountains are a symbol for perfection/beauty, and the thorns and mud are a symbol for non-perfection/ugliness. Both are beautiful, but at the same time they have their own distinction that doesn’t make them all that perfect. At the same time, Shakespeare and Sting use irony by showing that even the most beautiful things can have some form of imperfection. Both Sting and Shakespeare are trying to say that perfection doesn’t exist; everything and everyone has a flaw.

  17. Nicholas Brown says:

    Sting ‘s Consider Me Gone and Shakespeare’s sonnet 35 share a common theme of contradiction and binary thinking. In Consider Me Gone by Sting the lyrics read “Clouds and eclipses stain the moon and the sun”. The moon and sun can be seen as the spectrum of all life with clouds and eclipses being metaphors for bad things that mar life. The clouds and eclipses cover two of nature’s most pure things, the sun and moon. Shakespeare’s sonnet 35 relays a similar message “Such civil war is in my love and hate”. Here love and hate are both clear and opposite emotions covered by fighting amongst themselves. Clarity is something that is being covered. The two opposite spectrums are being mixed into one; this is relayed through both love and hate, and the moon and sun.

  18. CPascoe12 says:

    Consider Me Gone and Sonnet 35 feature similar themes. The themes present in both of these pieces of literature are the sad side of love. Like Consider Me Gone, Sonnet 35 is speaking upon a lover that has betrayed him. Where there once was love and beauty, there is now thorns and mud. In Sonnet 35, the line “such civil war is in my love and hate,” holds the same meaning as, “I’ve spent too many years at war with myself.” The theme behind these lines are that the main character is being torn apart due to love. Having a war with oneself symbolizes loving and hating something at the same time. Both the Sonnet and the song are similar because they hold the theme that love will cause one to have a civil war within them.

  19. Mikhail Kozak says:

    Sting’s lyrics are very similar to Shakespeare’s sonnet 35, some lines are actually taken and used in Stings song. Both of the authors manage to deliver for their listeners and readers the tone and the theme of sadness and living through hard times. Although, as i said, the lyrics are similar both of those pieces carry out different view on the world.I think that Sting has a view of letting things flow as they are and how on the other side Shakespeare is trying to understand and fight the problem. I think the message here is different but both of the authors successfully play with the strong and beautiful words in order to depict the color of sadness and loneliness.

  20. Eric Chen says:

    For Consider Me Gone and Sonnet 35, both of them have a similar themes. And also in sonnet 35 and Consider Me Gone there are some similar lines, the part that they are similar is not the words but its the meaning of the lines. Such as “Roses have thorns, and shining waters mud” in Sonnet 35 and “And cancer lurks deep in the sweetest bud” in Consider Me Gone. Both of them tried to tell the reader and the listener that not all beautiful and good things are what they look like, they could also be bad and negative. and the theme for both of Consider Me Gone and Sonnet 35 is the side that are not that beautiful for love.

  21. Harry Farr says:

    There is a very strange yet noticeable comparison between Sting’s “Consider Me Gone,” and Shakespeare’s Sonnet 35. One very obvious example is when Sting sings, “Roses have thorns and shining waters mud.” That is a direct quote with a slight twist to the line in Sonnet 35, “Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud.” Both in my mind symbolize how perfect and beautiful something can be like the Roses, yet how ugly and terrible something also can be when “mud” is mentioned. Yet for Stings case, I believe he is relating this line to a failed relationship when Shakespeare is writing it for something much more general.

  22. Miles Portman says:

    The song Consider Me Gone by Sting has a lot of very similar qualities and even some exact references to Sonnet thirty five by W. Shakespeare. In the second verse of Stings song, he quotes Shakespeare on the opening stanza of sonnet thirty-five. It basically says that not everything in life is perfect or great and that no matter how amazing something can seem it will always have its issues and flaws. They are both trying to tell the reader or listener that everything in life is great but nothing is perfect and you have to focus on the things that are not the flaws to realize something’s true beauty. The opening stanza while it is used in two totally different ways they are conveying the same things.

  23. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a bit research on this. We got a grab a guide from our area library but I believe I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such great info being shared freely out there.

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