Shakespeare, William - Sonnet 60 (Hausarbeit Englisch)
William Shakespeare, Analysis, Referat, Hausaufgabe, Shakespeare, William - Sonnet 60 (Hausarbeit Englisch)
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William Shakespeare - Sonnet 60
Analysis: Sonnet 60
The sonnet 60 written by William Shakespeare and published in the year 1609 deals with maturity of a human and the strength of time. The speaker of the sonnet addressed the human being by making clear how fast time passes and that it is always stronger than humans. A major theme of the sonnet is the personification of time and how it affects every human because nobody is able to control it.
The sonnet consists of 14 lines and is subdivided into three quatrains containing cross rhyme and a couplet in the final two lines containing pair rhyme. In the first quatrain (l.1-4) the speaker is concerned with the fact that every life is meant to be finite which shows that the human being is transient and that the life is really short. The quatrain creates a really deep and profound atmosphere because it clarifies that a human does not last forever and that you do not know when the end of your own life comes. Each paragraph is introduced by a new thought which can be also seen in line five where the speaker explains the life cycle of a human. He makes clear that the birth is something beautiful but also in danger of being kept by time which is the usual process of life.
The third quatrain (l.9-12) explains again the strength of time and that it controls the look because you cannot prevent that you are getting old. It is the natural process of a human being, but the speaker draws attention to the negativity time expresses. The couplet (l.13f.) serves as a kind of summary and final statement where the speaker gives hope and positivity to the reader which stands in contrast to the whole sonnet.
Shakespeare’s sonnet is written in iambic pentameter which stresses the emotional and tense atmosphere in the sonnet. The pentameter highlights relevant passages or syllables like the time which is always stressed and that is why the sonnet sounds really depressed. The rhyme is also an important characteristic because it connects the structure really well and especially the change from a cross rhyme into a pair rhyme in the couplet highlights the speaker’s hope and positivity because it gives the sonnet a different touch and sound.
Another point is the punctuation and sentence structure Shakespeare makes use of. Basically, he applies run-on lines or enjambments (cf. l.1) which give the sonnet a flowing and emotional tone. He finishes every quatrain by using dots to separate each quatrain from the other which makes the sonnet really structured and comprehensible. Reading the sonnet by focusing on each quatrain and not on the single line offers a better understanding for the content and sounds more flowing.
Respecting to the imagery and stylistic devices one can see that the author works with many personifications and metaphors to illustrate the power of time and how it affects the human. Shakespeare uses a comparison (cf.l.1) comparing the stages of life with waves to highlight how life is made to end and always follows similar patterns. The usage of “waves” implies that the life of waves and humans are quite similar because both things do not last forever. Nevertheless, it does not mean that humanity also does not last forever because there are many other humans and waves in the ocean or in the society who keep their circle stable. The personification of “minutes” (l.2) “minutes hasten to their end” clarifies that at some point the time and your life is over. The speaker uses especially “minutes” because they are really short in comparison to hours or days and make the reader realize how short the life really is. The speaker expresses how precious a baby is by using a very positive metaphor (cf.l.5) of the light which is always connected to something positive and hopeful. The expression “crowned” (l.6) can be seen as a turning point in the sonnet because the positive atmosphere turns into a negative by making clear that time destroys the life of a human. There is another personification “crooked eclipses” (l.7) which means “evil shadows” and underlines that these shadows want to give the newborn maturity. It also includes a contrast between this positive and beautiful baby which is connected to the light and the personification of the time. The personification describes the destiny of a newborn because it is innocent and vulnerable but still destined to be destroyed by the time. But the antithesis in the same line shows that even though this “glory fight” is a fight against the life, it is still worth living. Shakespeare works again with a personification of time (cf. l.8) describing that time goes by and that the human being is not able to stop it because time is always stronger. The speaker claims that youth is very unique and precious by using a metaphor “flourish set on youth” (l.9). He clarifies that humans should handle it with care and enjoy it as long as it is possible. In the following lines there is an anaphora of the word “and” (ll.8-13) to highlight that everything belongs to time and that everything is controlled by time. By mentioning the “nature’s truth” (l.11) the speaker illustrates that even though it is really hard that there is the point where you die, you have to because it is natural. It gives the reader a kind of hope because he realizes that this process is totally normal and that he should face his fear which is in this case the time by recognizing that it is natural and nothing about to worry. The “scythe” (cf. l.12) is a symbol for death and creates a negative feeling because it expresses the fear that everyone has. It seems like the sonnet ends with a really depressed and negative atmosphere, but the speaker ends with a positive couplet that highlights the power literature has and that is able to defeat time which is called as the “cruel hand” (l.14). He makes use of another personification “verse shall stand” (l.13) to clarify but also to promise that the sonnet will not be forgotten but live forever even if there is no one left.
For conclusion the sonnet affects me because it is still relevant and reflects important thoughts of every human being. It is really deep and makes the reader think of what is really relevant in his or her life. Especially the usage of imagery clarifies how fast time passes and that you only have a limited time to live. It is kind of sad to know that you do not last forever but in my opinion Shakespeare is one of the best examples that even though your body dies it does not mean you die. The couplet is the proof for his immortality in the literature and shows that his sonnets are still relevant today. One can see that death only belongs to your body but not to your soul because everything you do might be also relevant in the future.
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