Metaphors in Shakespeares Sonnet 73

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Age is a powerful force that cannot be stopped. As the days go by of a person, they begin to realize how everything changes; from themselves to everything else around them. Shakespeare’s sonnet, “That time of year”, truly describes the emotions of how one feels when they begin to realize that their loved one is aging and that they themselves too are aging. The poem compares the characteristics of aging through the use of metaphors that is related to nature. A metaphor is a word or statement that is used to compare with something, without the use of “like” or “as”. Shakespeare uses metaphors in three quatrains, which is a stanza that consists of four lines, and each quatrain contains an aspect of the natural life. It is easy to distinguish them because the quatrains always start with "thou mayest in me behold" or "In me thou seest" (lines 1-5). These phrases show that Shakespeare realizes the natural progression of aging and compares them with three of some of the natural occurrences in life; a quickly passing day, the cold days of autumn, and a slowly perishing fire, to help convey his theme that time is a dominant force that cannot be stopped. To start off, Shakespeare compares his progressing age to the passing of a day in the second quatrain. His life is slowly fading away like the light of the sun “fadeth in the west” (6). Once the sun sets, it becomes dark and then it is time to sleep. But for Shakespeare, the “black night” (7) is the time when “death’s second self” (8) will come and take away his sleep, and ultimately extinguishing the last few minutes of his life. Secondly, the author metaphorically compares his aging body to autumn in the first quatrain: That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. (1-4)
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