Extract and explain the use of imagery in Shakespeare's Sonnet 2.

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ktmagalia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shakespeare's sonnet 2 romantically centers on the temporal nature of beauty.  The poet suggests that physical beauty,  superficial and temporary, can live on through the gift of a child. William Shakespeare artfully captures this idea through his vivid imagery:

For example, one can imagine a tired face, wrinkles deeply digging into  brows and cheeks, through the lines:

When forty winters shall beseige thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,

Youthful and fine garments will resemble " a tatter'd weed", and beauty will be therefore lost to age.

It is obvious that speaker, acknowledging the lover's physical appeal, pleads for him to give up his "treasure of lusty days" and come to a realization that the shame of these "lusty days" rest deeply in his "sunken eyes."

Additional images close the sonnet with the image of his new found beauty "new made when thou art old" through his successor, a son who will  "see [his] blood warm" at his deathbed.