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Word Count: 387
Shakespeares Sonnet 19 In his Sonnet 19 Shakespeare presents the timeless theme of Times mutability As the lover apostrophizes Time one might expect him to address old Time as inconstant for such an epithet implies times changeability But inconstant also suggests capricious and the lover finds time more grave than whimsical in its alterations With the epithet devouring he addresses a greedy ravenous hunger a Time that is wastefully destructive Conceding to Time its wrongs the lover at first appears to encourage Time to satisfy its insatiable appetite Indeed he familiarly addresses Time as thou as he commands it harshely to blunt n make the earth devour n pLuck and burn Not onLy are the verbs bluntn npluck and burn linked by assonance but also by their plosive initial consonants so that the Lovers orders sound off Times destructiveness as well Each line offers a different image of Time at work on the lion the earth the tiger the phoenix-bird Time is indiscriminate in its devouring In the second quatrain the lover grants to Time its own will And do whateer thou wilt swift-footed Time acknowLedging priorly that in its fleet passage Time does Make glad and sorry seasons n For the first time one sees Time in other than a destructive capacity--in its cycLical change of seasons some Time does make glad with blooming sweets So the lover changes his epithet from devouring to swift-footed certainly more neutral in tone For now the lover makes his most assertive command But I forbid thee one most heinous crime n The final quatrain finds the lover ordering Time to stay its antic antique pen from aging or marring his love It is a heinous crime to carve and draw lines on youth and beauty ere the Lover no Longer speaks with forceful pLosives his speech for all the appearance of imperative command sounds more Like a plea or earnest request The
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