discuss shakespeare's depiction of death in sonnets 73 and 30

roykartik | Student

Sonnet 73 has been aptly described as a lament.  The poet compares his desolation with the desolation of winter. The poet is passing through the unhappiest time of his life. His death seems to be approaching to him. Let us have a look how Shakespeare depicts death by the following lines:

In me thou seest the twilight of such day,

As after sunset fadeth in the west,

Which by and by black night doth take away,

Death's second self that seals up all in rest.

In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,

That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,

As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,

Consumed with that which it was nourished by.

Anticipating his death, he calls upon his friend to love him even more than before because he would soon be departing from the earth. The poem contains several vivid pictures: the yellow leaves upon the trees; the bare ruined choirs; the twilight of such day and the glowing of such fire. As the evening progresses into night, and as the darkeness of the night takes away whatever little of daylight had been left, this scene of nature exactly resembles the present condition of the poet. Here, the night is an image of death, and like death, the night puts an end to every activity.

In the soneet 30 also we have depiction of death similar to the sonnet 73. This sonnet although contains a poignant account of Shakespeare's losses and sorrows, yet the crucial lines are the last two lines in which Shakespeare affirms that he feels compensated for those losses and sorrows by the thought of his friend, namely the Earl of Southampton.

However, the mood of the poet in this sonnet is one of profound grief. The poet thinks of his past losses, misfortunes, sorrows and griefs. His misfortunes include the deaths of some of his friends. We may have an evident picture of depiction of death by Shakespeare in the following lines:

"For precious friends hid in death's dateless night".



Read the study guide:
Shakespeare's Sonnets

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