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Looking at Sonnet 12 by William Shakespeare and I Look into my Glass by Thomas Hardy, explore how the poets treat the theme of time in their works

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Introduction

Looking at Sonnet 12 by William Shakespeare and I Look into my Glass by Thomas Hardy, explore how the poets treat the theme of time in their works First of all the most obvious theme in these poems is time. The poem Sonnet 12 is set in the 16th century and was written by Shakespeare. I Look into My Glass was written in 1898 by Thomas Hardy. These two poems are both quite dark and depressing. In I Look into My Glass is about a person who is suffering from the affects of time. We learn this because he tells us by saying that he looks in to his mirror his "glass". In the rest of the poem he attracts the reader's attention by focusing on himself and his looks. In the second line he describes a bit of himself, "And view my wasting skin", suggesting that his skin is old and wrinkled which suggests that he is old. In the third line the persona describes how he is disappointed at how he looks he describes it through a prayer, "Would God it came to pass", "My heart had shrunk as thin" This presents him as a very sad person who is almost begging for God to help him. Moreover he also conveys a feeling of loneliness through the same words, this time the persona is focusing on his feelings rather than his looks. ...read more.

Middle

The words silvered and white draw a mental picture of parallel between people with white hair and dark hair. This suggests that old people have old white hair and younger people have dark hair. This implies that when you get older you hair colour goes white and you can't do anything about it. So in these four lines Shakespeare describes the existence of life, death and power. In the next four lines Shakespeare talks about nature. He talks about how it has been affected by time. He mentions that they are not the same as they used to be. First of all he depicts things not being the same as they used to be through the words, "When lofty trees I see barren of leaves". This implies that the big trees have no leaves anymore. In the seventh line he then links Time and nature with food that has been made by nature and how all the crops have been collected because the factor time has affected them. Shakespeare evokes this by saying, "And summer's green all girded up in sheaves". This suggests that summer has gone and its goods have been collected. In the next four lines Shakespeare talks about his part of life being affected by time. Firstly he talks about his own woman being affected by time then other women. ...read more.

Conclusion

Furthermore, the couplets at the end, sum up all these things and this creates an affect of a faster rhyme which finishes off the poem well and gives out a positive feel. The comparison between these two poems I think are that first of all the poets take a different attitude to the looks of beauty. Shakespeare when he talks about it he talks about it in general involving all people. In contrast, Hardy talks about himself mainly which creates sympathy for his plight from the reader. Another one is that the structures of the poems are different. One similar thing they do is that they both create similar atmospheres which are sad and regretful, though there is no shred of hope conveyed at all in Hardy's poem. Shakespeare treats time as killer, as death with his scythe and that he is preparing to kill you from the moment you are born. He uses dark and depressing words to make a scary atmosphere. His layout of the poem evokes different speeds, each section showing time acting differently which is a great idea I think makes the poem more interesting and makes you think more after you have read each section. Thomas Hardy uses a different layout in his poem and it is focused on him which creates a sad and depressing atmosphere. Moreover, he uses sad words to emphasise this. Both of the poets treat time as a bad thing and don't mention anything good that it does. ...read more.

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