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Word Count: 684
Shakespeares Sonnet 73 published in 1609 is written in the Shakespearean or English sonnet style It consists of three quatrains and one couplet at the end written in iambic pentameters Each quatrain has its own rhyme scheme rhyming in alternating lines The couplet summarizes the preceding twelve lines Sonnet 73 appears to contain multiple parallels to death and the person speaking in the poem gives the impression that he is near death and reflecting back upon life The first quatrain That time of the year thou mayst behold me When yellow leaves or none or few do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold Bare ruin choirs where late the sweet bird sang He seems to be comparing his life the unspecified season which could either be autumn or winter If a person were to look at only this quatrain Shakespeare seems to describe autumn with images of yellow leaves and a place where a bird sang However if the whole sonnet is looked at Shakespeare seems to describe the effects of winter Shakespeare reinforces the confusion of season with the rearrangement of the natural sequence of events He says none before few in describing the leaves hanging and reminds us of summer with the image of the bird This serves as a reminder of the encroaching winter The transposition of none and few could also imply that a second look to the landscape as with death Upon another glance death is not here but coming This quatrain appears to arrest the very process invoked The winter is never-ending In the second quatrain In me thou seest the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west Which by and by black nigh doth steal away Deaths second self which seals upon rest Shakespeare seems to say death comes like night dark and quiet like a thief stealing when we sleep Meaning death will come without question He plays upon the
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