Shakespeare/Sonnet 73 term paper 12638

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Poetry is a common medium for people to express love. Sonnets are almost always

about love. William Shakespeare's "Sonnet 73" is no exception.

Senti-ments of love along with those of against and death are expressed through

the use of figurative language. The poem is organized in such a way that, as it

progresses, the reader feels the author approaching death as the use of

carefully chosen meta-phors that give "Sonnet 73" such powerful

imagery. In the beginning of the poem the author uses the metaphor of autumn to

stand for his progression in years. Just like the leaves change and fall from

the trees, the author has changed and lost his youth. The author next states a

compari-son of his aging to a sunset: "In me thou seest the twilight of

such day/ As after sunset fadeth in the west" (lines 05-06). Here

"sunset" represents dying. The next metaphor compares night, which

occurs after sunset, to death. "Which by and by black night doth take away/

Death's second self that seals up all in rest" (07-08).It is important to

note that the author has changed his focus from aging, to dying, to death, and

narrowed his scope to the close of one day (05). In the final quatrain the

author speaks of a "deathbed" of ashes (10-11). These ashes can be

interpreted as the ashes of his youth. Those ashes had once been the

"fuel" of the man's youth, that which provided his youthful energy.

But now, they are now the place where the dying fire of his youth and strength

dwindles to nothingness. It is the final couplet of "Sonnet 73" that

first mentions love. The entire poem is written to someone, probably a lover or

a loved one. The last two lines, however, seem to appear to sum up the

relationship: "This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong// To

love that well, which thou must leave ere long" (13-14). Here the author is

saying that even though he is so close to death, the lover still loves him. The

author's advanced stage on life actually makes the love "more strong"

(13), even though the lover knows that the author will not be around much

longer. Although the author spends much of the sonnet speaking of aging, dying,

and death, there is still an element of love. The poem addresses a lover of the

author through figurative language and metaphors. The organization of the poem

makes a steady progression from images of aging, to dying, to death, and

ulti-mately to love. "Sonnet 73" is a love poem with images of aging

and death.


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