Text Explication Essay for Sonnet 60

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Text Explication and Facets of Poetic Genre
Sonnet 60 by William Shakespeare
Professor C. Soldan

Poetry is “the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts”. This paper will focus on poet William Shakespeare (1564-1616) who was famous in the Renaissance Period prior to the year 1750. Shakespeare was found to have 154 written sonnets, which dealt with themes such as the time, love, beauty and mortality. However, a personal favourite of Shakespeare’s sonnets is sonnet 60, a sonnet that falls under the theme of passing time and addresses the “fair youth” whom is spoke to or about in a large percentage of Shakespearean sonnets. This sonnet will be critically analyzed and poetic genre will be analyzed.

Part One - Explication

The first quatrain of Sonnet 60 begins by using imagery to compare one’s life to the waves of the ocean, and how these waves crash against the “pebbled shore” which is similar to the way that the minutes of our lives quicken as we age. Shakespeare continues by using the pebbles along the shore to resemble the hardships that people will face throughout a lifetime. To end the first quatrain, he explains that the waves of the ocean will always continue to crash in the same way that troubling events in one’s life will continue to occur, the movement of the waves or actions of the human do not change as time passes.

The second quatrain is used to describe how an individual’s childhood begins, from the stage of being born until they begin to crawl and develop, in the same way that a sun starts as being bright and the main source of light but gradually becomes dimmer and shadows arise. Shakespeare is comparing the passing of time in one’s life to the way that the sun moves, as it rises to light the world and is then dimmed by the night. It is believed that he is trying to explain it in the sense that we are fighting to keep our youth as is the sun trying to keep...
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