Theme Of Imagery In Sonnet 73

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In “Sonnet 73” William Shakespeare uses seasonal and fire imagery symbolically, as well as metaphors to portray the process of aging.

“Sonnet 73,” published by William Shakespeare in 1609, reveals through symbolic imagery and metaphors mans promised fate, death. The theme of “Sonnet 73” is that, as life draws to an end, it becomes more valued. In a melancholy mood, the narrator concedes that many years have passed by and that the end of his life draws ever near. He reflects through imagery, and with a sense of self-pity, the loss of his youth and passion to the ravages of time. In this essay I will detail the use of symbolic imagery and metaphors in “Sonnet 73” and how it portrays the author’s experience of aging.
Seasonal Imagery
Shakespeare uses seasonal imagery in the first quatrain of the poem to show the comparison of aging to the time of season in the year. The narrator does this by using smaller images to create the larger main image of Autumn in the poem, which is his reflection on approaching old age. “That time of year thou mayest in me behold” (1). This is set in Autumn, the time between fall and winter. Fall is a representation of middle age and winter represents old
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One way this is done is by using three examples to show the passage of time. The first example is Autumn, the symbolism for years in life. It is the time of year leaves change color and fall away to meet the ground and the season moves from the bright warm summer days to the cold dark barren winter. This metaphor reflects our physical change from young to old. Our hair color changing to white, and for some it falls away to the ground, like the leaves in fall. Our bodies grow weaker exposing the bones under our skin like the branches that struggle in the wind. We see the bare ruined choirs as a symbolic reminder of the places we sang and rejoiced in our

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