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Analysis Of Sonnets 64 And 73

992 words - 4 pages

Paper One: An Analysis of Sonnets 64 and 73 William Shakespeare is one of the greatest playwrights of all time. It is also important, however, to remember and to study his sonnets. The sonnets are separated into two groups, 1-126 and 127-54. All of them are love poems of some sort, whether addressed to a young man or the infamous "Dark Lady." It is important to compare and analyze the sonnets, and to see the similarities between them. The purpose of this essay is to compare sonnets 64 and 73, and show that although it is easy to come to the conclusion that they are sorrowful in tone and negative in orientation, they are truly positive and life affirming. These two have been chosen because they are similar in this and other respects. Before discussing the similarities, however, it is necessary to briefly describe what each sonnet is about. Sonnet 64 is a cry against the inevitable arrival of all that wears down even the most firm powers that exist in the world. The speaker stresses that even the most sturdy monuments are bound to the ravages of time: "When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced/ The rich, proud cost of outworn buried age,/ When sometime lofty towers I see down-raz'd/ and brass eternal slave to mortal rage;" and so on. It is clear that the speaker finds time an enemy, capable of eroding any efforts to persevere. Time is also the enemy to the desire to be with a loved one forever. In this sonnet, the speaker finds himself at the mercy of his opponent, without any means of facing Time with any success. He almost abandons the love that he feels because he knows that it will eventually fall victim to time. There is no difference between the love that is felt by the speaker and the other durable things in the world, such as the "kingdom of the shore", and the "firm soil." But even these things will erode over time. The only option the speaker has is to mourn what he will one day lose. The seventy-third sonnet is also about the response of the speaker to the fact that Time detracts from the endurance of man and his response to the things that make him feel loved. Shakespeare starts with a discussion of the process by which the things that surround man first start to erode and fall as a result of the passing of time. The speaker is equating himself to autumn and the twilight of day. He finds himself lying on the ashes of his youth, and a victim to the passage of time. He cannot sustain the love that he feels, and is consumed by both time and love, as they once sustained...

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