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Discuss the theme of John Milton's sonnet "How soon hath time."i dont really get this...

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richgirl4u94 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 29, 2010 at 7:55 AM via web

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Discuss the theme of John Milton's sonnet "How soon hath time."

i dont really get this stuff

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jseligmann | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted September 29, 2010 at 1:36 PM (Answer #1)

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Well, you are sixteen years old, or something like that, right? Don't feel bad for not getting it. The poem was written by a young man who was a good seven years older than you are now. Thus fret not about the fact that Milton's Sonnet 7 "ON HIS BEING ARRIVED AT THE AGE OF 23" is a bit tough for you to understand.

Generally, the theme of the poem deals with age and aging. The narrator (you wouldn't be wrong if you figured it was Milton himself on or near his twenty-third birthday) is talking about being and acting his age. In the first eight lines, he says something like: My, how time flies, and here I am twenty-three already. How did that happen so fast. And, although I may not look my age:

Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,
That I to manhood am arrived so near,

nonetheles, here I am almost a man.

The last six lines are a reassurance. He realizes that whether or not he looks it, or is quite ready, he will soon enough blossom into the man and poet he has so diligently prepared himself to be.

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