Free Essay: Metaphors in Sonnet 73


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Metaphors in Sonnet 73


 "Sonnet 73" by William Shakespeare contains many metaphors to form a descriptive image. Shakespeare used conceits, which are "fanciful extended metaphors" (567), used in love poems of earlier centuries. Shakespeare used these beautifully in "Sonnet 73." A metaphor is a "brief, compressed comparison that talks about one thing as if it were another" (554). Shakespeare expresses three major metaphors in this sonnet. The first is about age, the second about death, and of course, love follows. These three metaphors create an enjoyable poem.

The first metahphor that Shakespeare uses is that of a tree in the fall. He compares himself to the tree by saying '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". Shakespeare compares his aging self to the aging tree. Just as the tree is losing its' leaves, Shakespeare could be losing his hair. Just as the tree is getting brittle, Shakespears bones are getting old and feeble. Most importantly, Shakespeare doesn't say that he is actually going through this downfall, but that his lover percieves it in him.

Another metaphor in this sonnet is the comparison of death to nightfall, "In me thou seest the twilight of such day" (568). He continues, "Which by and by black night doth take away, death's second self, that seals up all rest" (568). Shakespeare perfectly describes death as the fading of a bright day to a dark black night.

The third, and final, metaphor is when Shakespeare is comparing himself to the fire. Shakespeare beautifully states, "In me thou seest the glowing of such fire that on the ashes of his youth lie, as the deathbed whereon it must expire, consumed with that which it was nourished by" (568). . As the fire is dying so is Shakespeare.

 In conclusion, Shakespeare combines these three ideas in a two line follow-up, "This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong, to love that well which thou must leave ere long" (568). In this he relates all three objects, aging, death, and love, to each other. He is saying that one must enjoy love when he has it because it soon grows old and must die. He is also making the point that his lover is a good person for staying with him in his old age.

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Teachers Comments:

Good job!!  Your intro is good, your conclusion isn't bad, but the body paragraphs need to be developed. My suggestion is to just take each paragraph and write and as much as you can about it.. no matter what it sounds like, then go back and revise and organize it. That is the best, and really only way to develop. You will want to introduce the metaphor, quote it, desribe it in more detail (how does the metaphor work) and the comment on its significance to the poem.


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