Critical Appreciation Of Sonnet 2

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William Shakespeare just couldn 't leave the man alone. "Sonnet 2" is part of a 17-sonnet collection written to a young friend encouraging him to produce progeny. Also known as "the procreation sonnets" (Shmoop Editorial Team), the poet urges him to "marry and eternize his beauty through the engendering of children, [...] to conquer devouring Time" (Bevington 883). To attain immortality, to beat time, he needed to wed and pass his name on to an heir. This collection of sonnets appears to be written by an overzealous parent. But in all fairness, that is just a cursory reading and understanding of the intent of the author. Due to the significance of producing an heir, there is a genuine concern and a sense of urgency for the poet 's young friend,…show more content…
"How much more praise [would be] deserved [for] thy beauty 's use (9) If thou couldst answer, 'This fair child of mine (10) Shall sum my count and make my old excuse (11), ' proving his beauty by succession thine (12)." As an alternative, if the young man 's response to the question of what he had done with the richness of his youth in that he invested it into a successor, this would be duly praiseworthy. It would also "sum [his] count" (11) by balancing the debt of the richness given to him and thereby "make amends of [his] old age" (Bevington 885). Instead of the nobleman "burying his talents" and keeping it all to himself, he would be not only be investing, but depositing it into his son 's account. Thereby, allowing his "succession thine" (12) to "prove that his father 's beauty isn 't really gone" (Shmoop Editorial Team) - it had been passed on to the next generation. Symbolically, the nobleman, like the wise servants in Jesus ' parable, would be greatly…show more content…
Ultimately, at some point in a person 's life, there is a desire to "be new made when thou art old" (13). There will most assuredly come a time when we become aged that we would wish to go back to being young again - to run and not grow tired, to work without getting sore. It is often said that one can see themselves in their children. It 's almost as if the nobleman would experience a "kind of resurrection" (Shmoop Editorial Team). The Bible tells us that in King David 's old age, he could not keep warm, "Now King David was old and advanced in years. And although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm" (1 Kings 1:1). It seems in the 2nd line of the couplet that the poet is reminding the young nobleman that this could also be a problem for him, "And see thy blood warm when thou feel 'st it cold" (14). In this sonnet 's final line, the poet is employing a play on words, as "blood" is also a synonym for "decent, or lineage" (OED). The young man, in his old age, would take comfort and solace in the fact that while his time on Earth is shortened, his heir would carry on his
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