Time is the most frequently repeated concept and image in the Sonnets. This is the pervasive Renaissance theme of mutability, and the poet presents various ways to defy Time. The first seventeen Sonnets constitute the most distinctive unit of the whole sequence, which is arranged more or less logically by similarity of theme. We don't, of course, know who devised the ordering of the Sonnets or what relation the sequence has to date of composition. The first seventeen sonnets all urge the young friend to marry and to reproduce his...
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