• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analysis of Sheakespeare's Sonnet 73 "That time of year thou mayst in me behold"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Karabelas Libby Karabelas Mr. Wood AP English Literature and Composition 31 October 2012 Aging Through Symbolism When William Shakespeare wrote his sonnets, a group of 152 poems in all, he focused heavily on the concept of decay over time (CITE). Sonnet 73, ?That time of year thou mayst in me behold?, was certainly no exception. In this poem Shakespeare uses metaphors to describe his aging process, invoking three mental pictures of how he interprets this decline. It is clear throughout the poem that the message pertains to the impermanence of youth. But in the last couplet we see that, specifically, Shakespeare is discussing his decline with a loved one, and presuming that this sorrowful loss will strengthen the love they feel. William Shakespeare was not a simple-minded man; that was to be sure. He shows through his complex writing style and use of several simultaneous figures of speech that he is a skillful and creative writer. Indeed, as one of the most well known writers in history, Shakespeare would naturally be adept at conveying his feelings. He is obviously a sensitive, emotional person; his topic displays the inner workings of a highly reflective mind, keenly focused on his mental upset about his aging. ...read more.

Middle

This night is characterized as an extension of death itself, a sort of evil twin, that will envelop the world and put everyone to sleep. Both the darkness and the sleep itself are related to death here, which is as close as the author comes to directly saying that he is dreading his own death. The daylight of his youth has expired, and it is now literally going to be stolen from him by ?night??by death?and he will be put to rest. This is where one might think that the author is discussing his fear of literally dying, rather than just aging in general or the loss of his youth. Here the tone is even more somber than in the first quatrain, because instead of focusing on the good things that used to be, he looks more upon the evil things that will be. ?twilight?(CITE) and ?sunset?(CITE) are not terribly sad mental images. One tends to picture Shakespeare?s decline as a more graceful transition, due to the elegant connotation that both of these words carry, and the inclusion of the ?by and by?(CITE) saying. This saying refers to a gradual transition, more epic in nature than the simple darkening of a single day. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even if it is not intended as so, the poem is motivation to live well and prosper, appreciating what you have before it?s too late. He also brings up the relatable notion of burning yourself out; and this burning out could happen in not only a general sense but in regards to a particular activity or person. It is a hard feeling to describe, when something that you used to have such love for is no longer interesting to you, but Shakespeare?s metaphor describes it perfectly. Shakespeare?s overall message here, of the fleetingness of youth and life and vitality, is timeless. Shakespeare presumably wrote this sonnet at a time of mid-life crisis. It is an appeal to a loved one to see the impermanence of his youth, by objectifying himself as a season, a day, or a burning fire, and comparing the respective endings of all three. His writing style, in typical Shakespearian fashion, is of flowing sentences and intricate descriptions, offering metaphors within metaphors. Amongst these descriptions his tone goes from melancholy to sorrowful, and he describes all images from a pessimistic angle. The overall effect of the poem sparks in the reader self-questioning in which they may look at their own fleeting youth. None, however, would be able to describe any sad feelings they turn up so well as Shakespeare did, presenting a haunting picture of death, loss, and apprehension. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sonnets section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sonnets essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Poem Analysis: Felix Randall By Gerald Maneley Hopkins.

    3 star(s)

    than it means that that person has already had a life extension. It is difficult to explain, but Randall accepts his death through reprieve. Nature had given him a life extension for several months and now it was time for him to die.

  2. The Sonnet

    sands stretch far away,' has the metaphorical meaning that he wants everyone to be on a level plain with no-one thinking they are superior to others. The poem is about the fall of leadership and is promoting the idea of revolution to make everyone equal.

  1. An examination of the sonnet from Petrarch to Browning.

    then onto a sestet, which describes the journey of love, and then onto a rhyming couplet, which concludes their love. The movement of Shakespeare's sonnet compared to Petrarch's sonnet is very different. First of all the structure is different. Shakespeare's sonnet is split up into four quatrains and a rhyming couplet.

  2. Explore aspects of the sonnet tradition through reference to a range of material you ...

    The enjambment used lets her love flow through the lines. "I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life" (How do I love thee? Line 12 & 13) Another famous female English poet was Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), Her best poetry is strong, personal, and unforced; her success

  1. How do these three poems use the conventions and limitations of the sonnet form ...

    It starts dreamingly, and the emphasis on the natural, the growth of a relationship, possibly even with the 'long fresh grass'. Yet it must be remembered that this sonnet is concerned solely with an illicit relationship, and that ultimately what the sonnet is describing is unnatural and deceitful.

  2. “Love, time, death and loss have all been the inspiration for sonnets.” Discuss how ...

    This sense of darkness within the sonnet is potentially symbolic of the Christian views of light, and its' symbolic representation. The only light that is noted is that of youth; burning to "ashes" and seems to represent the theme of loss within the sonnet; if one loses faith, then what is possibly left?

  1. Sonnet 29. Shakespeares Sonnet 29 is a similar story about a man who thinks ...

    To me, the song seems as if the man is crying out to god for help. Just like the speaker in Sonnet 29. The second quatrain serves as the speaker's wish list for ways in which he might alter his "state."

  2. I will be looking at the 'Sonnet' by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and 'Sonnet 138' ...

    The former probably developed from the stanza form of the canzone or from Italian folk song. The earliest known Italian sonneteer was Guittone d'Arezzo. The form reached its peak with the Italian poet Petrarch, whose Canzoniere (c. 1327) includes 317 sonnets addressed to his beloved Laura.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work