Shakespeare Sonnet Analysis

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Enriched Language Arts 11 – Period 7
13 December 2011
Time: A Giver and Ravager
Shakespeare uses tranquility, somberness, and hopefulness as elements of the mood in Sonnet 60. He begins the sonnet as a metaphor, “Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,” comparing time to a tide. Waves could represent peacefulness and one at ease because a tide is smooth and continuous. Later on the tone becomes more dark and depressive, “And time that gave doth now his gift confound. / Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth / And delves the parallels in beauty's brow” (9-10). Shakespeare expresses the fact that time gives the gift of life, but also takes it away with death while destroying nature’s perfection, “Feeds on the rarities of nature’s truth” (11). In the couplet, hope is seen because he says “And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand, / Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.” He anticipates that his words will not be destroyed by time and will continue to praise his beloved. The sonnet begins with tranquility, but then changes to somberness, yet Shakespeare still ends with words of hope. Shakespeare is telling the audience a lesson of time. Minutes are continuously coming, “So do our minutes hasten to their end” (2). He seems to be wrapped around the theme of time passing by and also trying to battle time, “Crooked elipses ‘gainst his glory fight” (7). Time can give yet also take, it is inevitable. It is the reason for birth, mortality, and change, but only words can withstand time. Imagery is a key peace to this insightful sonnet. The first line is an illustration to show time as the ocean “Like as waves make towards the pebbled shore.” Using the sun to represent a human’s life, “Nativity, once in the main of light, / Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown’d, / Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight.” Nativity is the birth, then one maturing into adulthood, and finally trying to fight or cheat death. He personifies time as it is...
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