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Essay on Death in the Twelfth Sonnet by William Shakespeare

Project id 1000853
Subject area Self Improvement
Document type Essay
Words 1569
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At a modern age with contemporary medicine, the young do not often think about death. That prospect is years off and nothing to be concerned about for many. As a result, the youthful seldom believe, and rarely, if ever, write about death. It becomes rapidly apparent then, that William Shakespeare lived in another era. Many of the earliest sonnets speech and consider death, but why? Shakespeare lived in Elizabethan England at a period where the bubonic plague was leaving its mark. A time in which it wasn't common for folks to live beyond what we consider center age (Alchin). For Shakespeare, departure was a chance and he knew his youth wouldn't be long lived. This continuous concern of perishing reveals itself in most of his sonnets, but becomes especially evident in his twelfth sonnet, as a young William Shakespeare writes out of his deceased self's view, reflecting on life and giving guidance to his younger self about how he could preserve his youth. While this advice will eventually come, it isn't quickly given. Rather, Shakespeare uses the very first two lines to present an older, in fact deceased, version of him. Instantly in line one Shakespeare uses the pronoun "I," identifying that the sonnet and all the images it contains, are out of Shakespeare's view. The age of the "I" starts to become clear when taking all of one point into account, as Shakespeare writes, "When I do count the clock that tells the time." Shakespeare chooses to begin online, and thus the entire sonnet, with the word "When", showing that the next pictures aren't something that occurs regularly or even often, but are things that happen at a particular moment. He proceeds to replicate "when" through the sonnet, showing how im...

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