Analyzing Shakespearean Sonnet Essay

This essay has a total of 1128 words and 4 pages.

Analyzing Shakespearean Sonnet


William Shakespeare's sonnet, That Time of Year Thou Mayst in Me Behold emphasizes that
death is upon us stressing on the importance of love. By using metaphors he relates death
to nature. Using symbolism of autumn leaves, twilight and glowing fire evolving to one
conclusion awaiting death. By using Iambic meter he is showing a rising effect to get to
the climax of the sonnet. Shakespeare shows how his character is weighed down by torment
that his life is coming to an end. He is in search of sympathy saying if you see me like
this you will love me even more. Therefore saying, love me now before I am gone or it may
be too late.

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 ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet
birds sang. In quatrain one, Shakespeare has come to the understanding that death is upon
him by describing the changes of autumn leaves, bordering on the aging process and his
hair turning gray. The boughs which shake are the tremors his body is having reminding
himself once more that he is not as young as he use to be and ageing has left him feeling
like he has lost the power to write. By focusing on the fact that ageing is a slow and
discouraging process he is building on the hopes that someone will feel sorry for him and
acknowledge the fact that he may die soon.

In me thou see'st 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. The
second quatrain is focusing on twilight and the metaphors adjoining death. This is the
time between night and day symbolizing life and death, he is saying that I am close to
death I don't have much time. In the last two sentences of the quatrain, the end of the
day resembles the end of life and showing how sleep and death are the same. He is coming
to grips with accepting death but he has a wish for the sympathy of his loved one to see
him through it.

In me see'st the glowing of such fire That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the
death-bed whereon it must expire, Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by. In
quatrain three, a glowing fire almost expired is in fact a shadow of what he once was.
Showing how the fire that was once bright has grown dim and its ashes are the ruins of the
flame are describing the process of death. The imagery being presented is the intensity
and free being of his memories of his youth are what makes this process so much harder to
grasp. By reinforcing the issues from quatrain one and two death is near, he is hoping
that someone notices before he dies. The solution comes from the couplet. This thou
perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere
long. He is saying if you see me like this you will love me even more and then I can go on
to my death. But please acknowledge me because I will be gone soon and you will never get
the chance again.

I found Shakespeare's portrayal extremely needy and self pitying. He starts in the first
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