Analysis of Shakespeare Sonnet 60
Like As The Waves Make Towards The Pebbled Shore Time is a common theme throughout Shakespeare’s Sonnets, this is most apparent in Sonnet 60. This sonnet is about the ravages of time. How time never stops and is constantly changing.
Also how time is aging us, and eventually takes what is has given us. But Shakespeare poetry will stand the test of time: Like as the waues make towards the pibled shore, So do our minuites hasten to their end, Each changing place with that which goes before, In sequent toile all forwards do contend. Natiuity once in the maine of light.
Crawles to maturity, wherewith being crown’d, Crooked eclipses gainst his glory fight, And time that gaue, doth now his gift confound. Time doth transfixe the florish set on youth, And delues the paralels in beauties brow, Feedes on the rarities of natures truth, And nothing stands but for his sieth to mow. And yet to times in hope, my verse shall stand Praising thy worth, dispight his cruell hand.
Sonnet 60 starts with a very relatable illustration of a waves constantly traveling towards the shore. This is like time in that there are minutes constantly, continuing, going to their end.
Each minute or wave replacing the one that just happened, in a continuous march. Just like every wave is building in strength and then crashing again only to be followed by another in its place. Time cannot be stopped, one minute is always followed by the next in a never ending cycle.
The second quatrain says that a new sun rises and with time it rises to maturity, noon, where the sun is its highest and king of the sky. Then the sun starts to set and now what once gave the sun its glory is now taking that glory back, time. This is a metaphor of a sun having a human life.
The sun starts out being born “Nativity” and then crawls like a baby until it reaches its highest point where it is “crowned” with maturity. Then the sun continues to fall back to darkness or death.
“And time that gaue, doth now his gift confound” this last line concludes the metaphor with the assertion that time both gives the gift of life and then takes in away. The final quatrain goes on to explain that time destroys the perfection of youth, and carves wrinkles in a beautiful face. “And delues the paralels in beauties brow. If you replace delues with deludes and beauties brow with our forehead, then you can see that its stating that times makes wrinkles or lines across your forehead. So, time is aging us.
Times also feeds on the rarities of natures perfection, and lays waste to all in its path. “And nothing stands but for his sieth to mow. ” Seethe is constantly used as a metaphor for death, this is saying that nothing stands in times way, or deaths. Again the metaphor of time giving you life and then taking it away is expressed in this quatrain, though it being much darker and showing how relentless and unforgiving time can be.
This metaphor is also more relatable since it is about us and how time ages us and eventually leads to our death.
“And yet to times in hope, my verse shall stand Praising thy worth, dispight his cruell hand. ” These last couple of lines go on to explain that his verses shall stand the test of time, praising your worth in spite of time’s cruel hand. These last lines are saying that even as time takes him, makes him old, and eventually even kills him, his poetry will live on, not affected by time’s cruel hand. It looks like he was right because over five hundred years later and here we are today still reading and analyzing these works.
Time is a very relatable thing, and this sonnet explains time very well.
It explains what time is, it’s just seconds building on minutes continually going to their end. Time is giving, giving someone life and power, raising that person to their prime. Time is also very cruel, it takes that power and life away from that person. Time is such a simple thing, it’s only seconds and then minutes, but through this sonnet it has been personified to something more, something greater. It is a giver and taker, it is life but is also death, and in the end it is time that takes us.