William Shakespeare 's Sonnet 73 Essay

William Shakespeare 's Sonnet 73 Essay

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William Shakespeare 's 'Sonnet 73 ' highlights the continuous anxiety; of speaker the due to the inevitability of old age. Through various poetic techniques Shakespeare underlines that the deterioration of time is arbitrary; and it therefore naturally decays beauty and life. However there is a sense that he expresses love as a stronger force which overcomes the constant decline of youth and time. This is strongly represented by the use of seasonal imagery. Similarly, John Donne utilizes formal aspects in 'A Valediction Forbidding Mourning ' to convey the same view of the strong force of love. Unlike, Shakespeare 's constant reflection on deterioration; Donne presents arguments to reassure his lover that their love can overcome all aspects. To reiterate his idea he cleverly uses a compass as the central conceit of the poem.
The portrayal of physical decay and its constant decline throughout 'Sonnet 73 ' is represented through its structure. The sonnet has three quatrains and a rhyming couplet at the end; each quatrain seems to symbolizes a stage of deterioration of life. In the first quatrain when Shakespeare references Autumn 'When yellow leaves or none, or few do hang ' there is a sense that the words 'few ' and 'none ' emphasises the feeling of hopelessness just like the seasonal cycle which is inescapable. It highlights the idea that time runs out quickly and that the slow process of ageing begins. For example the change from Summer; which is represented as the height of beauty and excitement; to autumn when leaves fall and become scarce then winter when everything is dead and fragile. Unlike the first quatrain, which shows life despite its connotations of slow degeneration of beauty 'Sweet birds ' and 'yellow leaves...


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...dear to but it also creates an atmosphere of an everlasting love. Just as Shakespeare’s hubris believes love can last forever, there is a sense that he believes that real beauty and love can be preserved from decay through art. 'To love well which thou must leave ere long '. Therefore his poetry reflects that view because as the poetry is being read there is a sense that the extent of his love and his feelings can be viewed and recognised, which means the love he feels and lover are both immortalised by the poetry. Overall the use of seasonal natural imagery to portray the decaying and decline of time and the physical body, emphasizes the fact that it is a natural process to go through and thus it is inevitable that time will run out and beauty will fade however love is the only thing that can be held onto when all else fades like ' the ashes of his youth doth lie.

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