What are some examples where Dickinson and Shakespeare explore similar themes in their poetry? How could these themes and their use of stylistic devices be compared and contrasted?

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Both Shakespeare's sonnets and Emily Dickinson's poems return frequently to the themes of death and immortality, exploring the extent to which time and its inevitable passing can bring on death and, ultimately, eradicate (in some cases) immortality.

Both Dickinson and Shakespeare use natural imagery pertaining to the passage of the seasons to explore this theme. In Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 , for example, he describes how winds "shake the darling buds of May" and "summer's lease hath all too short a date" to indicate that the seasons are brief, just as the youth and beauty of humans is brief. In Sonnet 12, he explores more fully the effect of time on the seasons, concluding that "sweets and beauties ... die as fast as they see others grow." Shakespeare's conclusion in this poem is that, because he has watched the effect of time on the seasons for so long—time represented as a metaphorical "clock" for him to view—he recognizes that there can be no "defence" against "Time's scythe." He...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 3, 2019
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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 3, 2019