Sonnet Lx - Analysis

Topics: Poetry, Iambic pentameter, Poetic form Pages: 3 (1106 words) Published: January 26, 2013
Sonnet LX – William Shakespeare
Poetry Appreciation

‘Sonnet LX’ was written by William Shakespeare. It is a poem which focuses around the inexorable passage of time and how time affects human life in its different stages. Throughout the poem, we find the arguments within the three quatrains are linked. The poem is made of a Shakespearean sonnet; this is because it has 14 lines, iambic pentameter and has a rhyme scheme of abab, cdcd, efef, gg. It is a block poem but the rhyme scheme marks the three quatrains and final rhyming couplet. The title was chosen by Shakespeare due to the fact that in an hour there are 60 minutes and in a minute there are 60 seconds, and since the poem is focussed around time it would be the most suitable title. The poem opens comparing the passage of time to the unceasing, unrelenting motion of the waves. Shakespeare feels that just as the waves batter onto the shore one after the other, the same can be said for time as one minute takes the place of the one before it. An extra syllable can be found in the first line, breaking from the ten syllable pattern of the iambic pentameter. This might remind us of the notion of time stretching into eternity, even if human life will not. As the poem continues, we find that the poet’s attitude towards life is not a very friendly one, most notably when he says the words “in sequent toil all forwards do contend”. This seems to evoke the feeling that life is anything but easy, and harsh sounds of some of the syllables in this line seem to do nothing but emphasize this, such as the words “toil” and “contend” which denote hard work and a struggle. The next quatrain contains the different stages of human life described as the stages of the sun during the day. This may be interpreted as a link to the previous stanza, as in the last stanza there was an image of sea and in this stanza there is the image of the sun. The poet describes the stages of the...
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