Shakespeare/Sonnet 73 term paper 12637

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Many sonnets written by William Shakespeare deal with tragedy, love and death,

in sonnet seventy-three he focuses on death along with the signs of aging.

Whether or not he is the topic of the sonnet or an observer, he expresses

everything as if he were the topic. Shakespeare was at an age in his life where

he could relate to the sonnet, which made the poem so much more effective. The

subject of this sonnet is being looked at, and the observer comes to the

conclusion that they see late fall, twilight and a dying fire; that is, the

observer realizes that the person is getting old and they will soon lose him.

Shakespeare’s way of reflecting the onset of aging and death is expressed

through many propositions like theme, imagery, and wordplay. One of the many

significant points that reflect the onset of aging and death is through the

theme. This sonnet takes place in autumn, because in the very beginning a tree

is being compared to the person. The yellow leaves falling in autumn supports

the idea of paper turning yellow as time goes by, which indirectly suggests that

people get old and will parish as years slip by. “Bare ruined choirs, where

once the sweet late bird sang” tells the reader that in the summer time the

birds would be on the branches singing like a church choir in a soldier like

stance; whereas, in autumn the birds do not sing because they are gone from the

bare branches. Shakespeare sees sleeping and twilight as “Death’s second

self”, because as night approaches people are unconscious like being dead.

Shakespeare also suggests that the person is nearing the end of his life when

such fire is glowing. The glowing of the fire is nourished by wood, and as the

wood gets smaller the fire dyes out. Along with theme as a significant point,

imagery is what paints a picture of the onset of aging and death. Shakespeare

not only let the readers read about his sonnet, he lets the readers portray an

illustration with his descriptive words. The setting is immediately presented in

the beginning of the sonnet. The tree that is depicted in the autumn setting is

compared to the subject of this sonnet. The tree is nearly bare with the wind

blowing at the last leaves clinging on to the branches; only a few stalwart ones

finally remained. Although the description of the birds singing on the branches

is that of the summer time, in contrast, the branches are bare in the autumn;

the picture depicts the subject in his youthful years. Shakespeare’s

interpretation from the quote “…seals up all in rest” gives a couple of

different images. That quotation can portray a coffin that is sealing up the

lid, or when nightfall’s people go to sleep; therefore, sleep indirectly

implies death. The person and his own youth are lying on a bed of ashes that was

fed by the burning of wood, which is compared to a deathbed. Shakespeare’s

imagery on death is expressed very successfully through the tree, deathbed and

the coffin. Shakespeare sonnets use a variety of words to manipulate the actual

meaning of sentences. His creative words tell a story all by itself with the use

of metaphors, from the words describing the subjects’ youth to the ashes of

his deathbed. Shakespeare writes about yellow leaves clinging on to the trees

and birds that use to sing on the branches in the summer time. These images can

be interpreted as the person whom Shakespeare is referring to was young before

but at the present moment, he is old and almost ready to die. The ash that his

youth lies upon is manipulated to represent his deathbed where upon he will lie

when it is time for him to die. Shakespeare compares the love between the two

people as a log burning, as the fire is burning the log; the log becomes smaller

consequentially resulting in the fire to dye out. In conclusion, Shakespeare’s

sonnet seventy-three has accomplished the task of letting the readers know that

this is about death and aging. The theme was well represented to make the

sonnets meaning of aging and death the topic of this piece. Imagery was

expressed to represent the sonnet successfully. The images Shakespeare created

make the sonnet more interesting and easier to comprehend and relate. The

wordplay was creatively sited to represent something similar to its meaning.

This sonnet can be made into one of tShakespeare’s famous plays but he has

isolated it to be fifteen lines, and very effective due to the theme, imagery,

and wordplay that is expressed and displayed throughout the sonnet.


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