British Literature, 4th
Due: 23 April 2012
Time in “Sonnet 19”
In the equation of life, Time has always been an independent variable. Time cannot be slowed, lengthened, nor controlled in any manner. However, Time has control over all things. Time leaves its mark everywhere; whether it is in nature with the seasons changing or the aging of an animal. How one accepts its results is one’s own choice. In William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 19” Time is shown deteriorating the strongest beings in nature indicating how powerful a force it can be; however, the speaker forbids Time to touch his lover which proves even though Time does not obey his love cannot be conquered by the effects of Time. In “Sonnet 19” the speaker commands Time to leave his love “untainted.” The speaker urges “Him in thy course untainted do allow/ for beauty’s pattern to succeeding men” (Shakespeare 11-12) proclaiming his wishes for any physical signs of aging to be non-existent. Also, in this context untainted could also mean un-accused or not arrested. Time plays the role of the ultimate judge and its sentences are harsh. Time’s natural “course” is to arrest all and take their beauty which is a pattern that it will always follow. Time following its natural “legal” course according to the speaker would be “one most heinous crime.”(Shakespeare 8) Therefore attaining his significant other would be illegal and Time would become a criminal. Continuing that idea, Time’s crime would be “not per se the wrinkling of a young man’s brow;” (Jungman 2) Time’s action would only be unlawful but unnatural. To avoid this course it would better if Time made an exception and left this person untouched. in this person’s case then all creatures should have this exception also. What if “Devouring Time, [never] blunt thou the lion's paws,” nor the tiger’s teeth ever dulled. Time would then be irrelevant and the speaker’s love would truly stay young. However this is not the case. The speaker...
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