Sonnet 73 Analysis

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Sonnet LXXII (73) William Shakespeare wrote many sonnets throughout his lifetime. In Sonnet LXXII, Shakespeare represents the progression of time in life through figurative language and organization. Shakespeare's first metaphor shows a connection between life and seasons of a year. The progressions of seasons of weather is easily representative of the seasons of one's life. Shakespeare's reference to "yellow leaves" shows that the person is in the fall of their life, approaching winter, considering leaves don't change until the end of fall and the boughs "shake against the cold." He then references an absence when he speaks of the "late" birds. His choice to use the word "late" and the past tense "sang," show that something isn't there anymore, or missing creating a feeling of emptiness. This feeling of emptiness combined with the metaphors implying a fast approaching winter, seem to relay a harshness and maybe that the person has missed something in life. The person's death is constantly coming near, as is alluded to by his metaphors with twilight and a sunset. Line 5 says “twilight of such day" which can be seen as a parallel to the end of an autumn day, or the end of light. The comparison of day to light connects to the next line which reads, "sunset fadeth in the west." When the sunset fades, it usually means that it is time for sleep until the next day. However, instead of sleeping for the night, once the sunset fades, the person will have died. The final step towards death is the fire. Many poems allude to life being a flame and the poem also does so, but it has a detailed progression of the fire going out. The "death-bed" in the poem is synonymous for a fire pit. His/her "youth doth lie" in the "death-bed" which shows how their youth is fading away. The fire of their life has "consumed" its wood, or energy and will soon die down to nothingness. He
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