Shakespeare's Sonnets: Time And Decay

Eventually, time and decay effect everything. Shakespeare uses this theme in many of his sonnets. The sonnets give no hint of an afterlife and express that nothing survives time. Shakespeare used numerous methods to depict this theme including personification, metaphors and similes. Even though Shakespeare says that time destroys everything, he also addresses how to “defeat” time to a degree. One way to “defeat” time is to marry and have children. A person’s offspring will in some measure carry him or her on throughout time. Shakespeare also believed that poetry is immortal and those who are featured in them will be also. He offers this immortality to his friend and the dark ...

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is like a flower that blooms. It bursts out with beauty and then time and decay cause it to slowly wither away to old age and death. In the last couplet of the sonnet, Shakespeare gives his friend a way to win the war with time and decay and implant his beauty again. The way offers this is to be featured in his poetry. What better way to “live on” then to be read about for centuries?
The cycle of the year is used to describe life in sonnet 18. Spring equals youth, summer equals maturity and perfection, fall equals middle age and winter equals old age. Shakespeare writes “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate…And summer’s lease hath all too short a date…” (lines 1,2 and 4). He is saying to his friend that he is in the height of his perfection right now, but it will not last for very long. Again towards the end of the sonnet he tells him that he shall conquer time and decay by being immortal in his poetry “But thy eternal summer ...

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Shakespeare's Sonnets: Time And Decay. (2006, April 9). Retrieved July 7, 2020, from
"Shakespeare's Sonnets: Time And Decay.", 9 Apr. 2006. Web. 7 Jul. 2020. <>
"Shakespeare's Sonnets: Time And Decay." April 9, 2006. Accessed July 7, 2020.
"Shakespeare's Sonnets: Time And Decay." April 9, 2006. Accessed July 7, 2020.
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Added: 4/9/2006 05:54:28 AM
Category: Arts
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 656
Pages: 3

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