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Sonnet 73: That time of year thou mayst in me behold Analysis

Author: Poetry of William Shakespeare Type: Poetry Views: 4520

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The Sonnets1609That 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.

In me thou seest the twilight of such day

As after sunset fadeth in the west,

Which by and by black night doth take away,

Death's second self that seals up all in rest.

In me thou seest the glowing of such fire

That on the ashes of his youth doth lie

As the death-bed whereon it must expire,

Consumed with that which it was nourished by.This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,To love that well which thou must leave ere long.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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I had a dream to make my own business, but I didn\'t have enough of money to do this. Thank goodness my close fellow recommended to take the loan. Thus I used the bank loan and made real my old dream.

| Posted on 2012-09-23 | by a guest

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I don\'t see the poet in his final days. He is only approaching it. Fall is not winter, but it is near. Wisdom comes at this stage of life and one thing the poet has learned to this point is that as the end approaches, you learn to love that which you are about to lose.

| Posted on 2011-11-17 | by a guest

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In William Shakespeare’s 73rd sonnet, also referred to as [That time of year thou mayst in me behold], he talks about the well known topic of aging and mortality. Within the poem, Shakespeare uses almost purely descriptive language (other than the last couplet) aimed specifically at our sense enabling the readers to picture the process of which we age. Metaphorically, he describes this process to the fading of life, light, and finally the dying of fire. He compares himself with the autumn, the passing of day, and the burning out of a fire. To effectively communicate his theme of aging, Shakespeare employs an extremely descriptive language based in metaphor.
Shakespeare describes aging in three distinct ways; the first in which he uses the nature of autumn. He writes, “When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang/ Upon those boughs which shake against the cold” (lines 2-3). The speaker perceives that death occurs that “time of year” when it is dark, cold, and gloomy as we may observe on an autumn day. The leaves – like his life - have disappeared, and life no longer exists on the trees; in addition, birds have left their branches, their place of residence: “Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang” (line 4). One can easily imagine this when picturing autumn – see the yellow, feel the cold, and hear the birds; the birds that once lined branches of trees are leaving their nests in the leafless trees to migrate south for the winter. Each picture he has drawn is destroyed in the end. This further emphasizes his theme of aging, where life is no longer heard nor seen.
Shakespeare also uses the burning out of fire to explain what is going on inside an aging or even dying individual. He describes himself as having a once bright burning flame that has slowly dimmed and finally burnt out: “In me thou seest the glowing of such fire/ That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,/ As the deathbed whereon it must expire/ Consumed with that which it was nourished by” (lines 9-12). Here, we can picture a glowing flame. The fire is going out because the wood that has been fueling it is completely consumed. Shakespeare compares his life to this by showing how it “extinguished” when his youth is consumed by life. He also realizes that what once “nourished” must “expire” (lines 11-12). The imagery here is destroyed with the death of its glowing embers.
Shakespeare also compares his aging to the fading of light or the passing of day. He writes, “In me thou seest the twilight of such day/ As after the sunset fadeth in the west,/ Which by and by black night doth take away,/ Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest” (lines 5-8).
derated before posted.

| Posted on 2010-11-23 | by a guest

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In this poem, the speaker invokes a series of metaphors to characterize the nature of what he perceives to be his old age. In the first quatrain, he tells the beloved that his age is like a “time of year,” late autumn, when the leaves have almost completely fallen from the trees, and the weather has grown cold, and the birds have left their branches. In the second quatrain, he then says that his age is like late twilight, “As after sunset fadeth in the west,” and the remaining light is slowly extinguished in the darkness, which the speaker likens to “Death’s second self.” In the third quatrain, the speaker compares himself to the glowing remnants of a fire, which lies “on the ashes of his youth”—that is, on the ashes of the logs that once enabled it to burn—and which will soon be consumed “by that which it was nourished by”—that is, it will be extinguished as it sinks into the ashes, which its own burning created. In the couplet, the speaker tells the young man that he must perceive these things, and that his love must be strengthened by the knowledge that he will soon be parted from the speaker when the speaker, like the fire, is extinguished by time.
Sonnet 73 takes up one of the most pressing issues of the first 126 sonnets, the speaker’s anxieties regarding what he perceives to be his advanced age, and develops the theme through a sequence of metaphors each implying something different. The first quatrain, which employs the metaphor of the winter day, emphasizes the harshness and emptiness of old age, with its boughs shaking against the cold and its “bare ruined choirs” bereft of birdsong. In the second quatrain, the metaphor shifts to that of twilight, and emphasizes not the chill of old age, but rather the gradual fading of the light of youth, as “black night” takes away the light “by and by”. But in each of these quatrains, with each of these metaphors, the speaker fails to confront the full scope of his problem: both the metaphor of winter and the metaphor of twilight imply cycles, and impose cyclical motions upon the objects of their metaphors, whereas old age is final. Winter follows spring, but spring will follow winter just as surely; and after the twilight fades, dawn will come again. In human life, however, the fading of warmth and light is not cyclical; youth will not come again for the speaker. In the third quatrain, he must resign himself to this fact. The image of the fire consumed by the ashes of its youth is significant both for its brilliant disposition of the past—the ashes of which eventually snuff out the fire, “consumed by that which it was nourished by”—and for the fact that when the fire is extinguished, it can never be lit again.
In this sense, Sonnet 73 is more complex than it is often considered supposed by critics and scholars. It is often argued that 73 and sonnets like it are simply exercises in metaphor—that they propose a number of different metaphors for the same thing, and the metaphors essentially mean the same thing. But to make this argument is to miss the psychological narrative contained within the choice of metaphors themselves. Sonnet 73 is not simply a procession of interchangeable metaphors; it is the story of the speaker slowly coming to grips with the real finality of his age and his impermanence in time.
The couplet of this sonnet renews the speaker’s plea for the young man’s love, urging him to “love well” that which he must soon leave. It is important to note that the couplet could not have been spoken after the first two quatrains alone. No one loves twilight because it will soon be night; instead they look forward to morning. But after the third quatrain, in which the speaker makes clear the nature of his “leav[ing] ere long,” the couplet is possible, and can be treated as a poignant and reasonable exhortation to the beloved.

| Posted on 2010-09-16 | by a guest

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T maonly be an anaexplyion sheneort cos aoewed. reDue to Spaesm Posor gral ts lysis bfommentre posdhisof the writeting. N qouts foare r mollted .dera

| Posted on 2010-02-28 | by a guest

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i think we should read it more thean once cuz its really hard,,,,.

| Posted on 2009-11-08 | by a guest

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Shakespeare is entailing the reader the realization of inevitable old age, inevitable death, and of an unpretentious view on our mortality. In this metaphor he uses the season of fall, right before the "death" of winter. This time correlates to old age, near to the end of one's life.
The most important part of this Sonnet is the couplet: "This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong, to love that well which thou must leave ere long."
This is saying: You see in me-"the twilight of such day, as after the sunset fadeth" (The end of the day, the end of my life)-"the glowing of such fire, that on the ashes of his youth doth lie" (Mylight is about to burn out, my life is about to burn out)-He says, "you notice this in me, and your love for me strengthens because before long, I will inevitably leave you, in my death.

| Posted on 2009-10-06 | by a guest

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I believe he is talking about a church that has been decimated and trees are against the ruins of it. and how the comparison of the old church is also his own life.

| Posted on 2008-10-16 | by a guest

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The three extended metaphors express how close Shakespeare is to death. However, there is the idea of a cycle that appears in each metaphor. The tree that dies will be green by summer, the sun will rise again and the fire can be relit. I think he may be writing that the fire of old age is lying on the ashes of his youth as though the fire of his youth has been put out but the fire of elderliness is now lit. This implies that here could be a third fire of afterlife or regeneration. Shakespeare is nearing death but has no regrets because he lived his life to the full and is encouraging the reader to do the same.

| Posted on 2005-11-20 | by Approved Guest

.: Time's up... :.

In reading this sonnet, we are made immediately aware of the speaker's failing condition and the fact that time is up on his life. Shakespeare uses seasons, saying that we can see autumn in him. He is in the fall of his life, on the eve of the dead winter. This point is further proven when the speaker refers to night and says that it "seals up all in rest." Death does this to life in the same way, just as night does this to the day. He also addresses illness/aging, which precedes death in the way that fall precedes winter and twilight precedes the night. In the final couplet of the poem, we learn that someone who greatly loves the speaker loves him that much more as they see him fading. This person knows that they won't be here much longer.

| Posted on 2005-04-26 | by Approved Guest

.: to the younger lover :.

This poem immediatly informs you that it is an older person speaking to a younger lover. The sonnet contains three powerful metaphors that symbolize the end of his life. The first, the season of fall, portrays his life as cold and bare. The second, twilight, represents the end of a day where darkness implies death. Finally, the fire, almost extinguished, is like life, almost out. What once was fuel, now is ash. This imagery helps to prove his point that his age difference makes their love stronger and that the younger lover should love as much as they can before time runs out.

| Posted on 2004-09-07 | by Approved Guest

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