Critical Analysis on Sonnet 12, "Shakespeare's Sonnets", by William Shakespeare

1592 WordsMar 6, 20037 Pages
William Shakespeare wrote a group of 154 sonnets between 1592 and 1597, which were compiled and published under the title Shakespeare's Sonnets in 1609. Our attention will focus on sonnet 12, a remarkable and poignant poem about the relentless passing of time, the fading beauty, immortality, death and Old Age, these subjects being typical of all Shakespeare's Sonnets. Time is omnipresent in everyone's life, just passing and passing inexorably, relentlessly, so unstoppable. It is a universal problem : people have always been very worried about time, trying to gain some, or angry they have lost this precious element. Moreover, "Time is Money", maxim born in the business sector, is now an adage applied in all matter. But still, it is not…show more content…
In the same way, the day looks already defeated, but it tries, unlike the "I", to fight, as suggest the adjective "brave", introducing a notion of combat. However, this is not the only meaning of this word, brave being polysemic : it has almost a visual significance, evoking brightness and gallantry. Thus, Shakespeare joins an attracting adjective to the "day", to finally make it appear even more vulnerable and pathetic, thanks to "hideous night". This opposition between "brave day" and "hideous night" emphasizes the day's weakness against the night, literally sinking in the night. This verb, sink, represents a long action and gives us the idea that we cannot discern the limits between day and night, we cannot point out "this is day", "this is night". It is something we are not aware of, we cannot see happening, until night has completely taken the place. This domination and hopeless fight could imply, by extension, that any struggle in life is a useless task. The violet is also under time control : it is once at its prime state, at springtime best, being emblematic of Spring and new growth, but then soon fades and dies. Here is presented the decaying of nature and furthermore of human, as violet is like a human being : once at its prime, then dying. Shakespeare presents us the same kind of image in the next line, describing sable curls, namely dark hair, having turned white due to the age. This word

More about Critical Analysis on Sonnet 12, "Shakespeare's Sonnets", by William Shakespeare

Open Document