Analysis on Sonnet 73

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William Shakespeare wrote many sonnets, but one of my favorites would have to be sonnet 73. This sonnet expresses how true love has a special bond that can never be broken, not by old age or even death. Shakespeare does this with a rhyme scheme and iambic pentameter. He uses a cluster of symbolic images to convey his message, including vibrant metaphors and personification. Shakespeare provides a visionary image of how true love really is. In this sonnet, Shakespeare compares himself to a grove of trees in early winter, "When yellow leaves or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold," These lines seem to refer to an aging, barren man who in a sense, is referring to the time in our lives when we become more vulnerable and our bodies have become depilated and we can longer be the strong, effervescent person we once were. He regards his body as a temple, "Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.” But it is a body now going to decay. He emulates the coming to the end of his life, when he talks of "twilight", “after the sun fadeth in the west,” “Which by and by black night doth take away.” For him, death is coming twice. He uses the words, “black night” which represent the aging process and “Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest,” which represents the final sleep you take when you are shut in your casket. In the third quatrain of this poem, Shakespeare tells his lover, “In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,” saying even though I am old and dying, you still see the young man I once was. However, my youngness is now turning to ashes and these ashes will become my death bed. In this quatrain, the speaker is giving us a hint of how his outward appearance differs from his state of mind by using a slower reading of the lines, allowing us to reflect on the emotional tone that each image creates.

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