In her book Death, Burial, and the Individual in Early Modern England, Clare Gittings observes that, “it has often been suggested that people of the late Middle Ages seem to have been obsessed with death” (34). Gittings notes that, unlike today when people easily cast death’s threat aside, it would have been impos...
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...nd order beyond change” (236). Once Shakespeare outwits time and gains confidence in his verse as a means of preservation, his relationship with time changes. Instead of battling with time, Shakespeare and time become equals. Shakespeare effectively, “reduce[s] the negative form of time and the domain it governs to trivial proportions, and replace[s] it with another, positive conception of time which is squarely centered in the poet’s personal experience and intimately associated with his achieved sense of stability” (Kaula 57). In addition, “he sees the old enemy, cosmic time, in a different light. Instead of lamenting the impermanence of earthly things, he regards time with an equanimity that verges on satirical contempt, even when he observes its effects on the friend” (56). Shakespeare wants his Sonnets to act as “The living record of your memory” (45 8).
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