This sonnet is so famous that it almost makes comment superfluous. It will always be one of the finest sonnets in the history of language. The slow and swift passage of time which brings all things to an end is described, not indeed copiously, but with such significant and devastating effect that mortality almost stares us in the face as we read it.
A frame used to carry a corpse to the grave. In Elizabethan times, "beard" was pronounced as "bird"  Sweets: Referencing other virtues and beauties 'gainst: There are also many contrasts showing time's power such as the words, "lofty" and "barren" when describing the trees, alluding to time's power over all of nature.
Shakespeare shows time's power by using the descriptive words of "white and bristly beard," "violet past prime," and "sable curls all silver'd o'er with white. And to do this, Shakespeare tells the young man, is by creating descendants. Reflecting this structure, the first three quatrains develop an argument of despair, and the couplet suggests a somewhat hopeful resolution.
However, the argument of the poem may also be seen as reflecting the older structure of the Petrarchan sonnet: The first line is often cited as appropriately displaying a metronomic regularity: Critical analysis[ edit ] The sonnet's position in the sequence at number 12 coincides with the 12 hours on a clock-face.
These ideas call up two approaches of Death: Carl Atkins adds to this, describing how much of the imagery used is transmuted from lively, growing identities to macabre indifference, such as "the harvest-home. The crux of Vendler's analysis comes out of the phrase 'Sweets and Beauties' in line She notes that the word "Beauties" is clearly a reference back to the earlier lines containing aesthetic beauties that wither away with time, and that "Sweets" has a deeper, moral context.
She holds that Beauties are outward show and Sweets are inward virtues, and that both fade with the passage of time. In Vendler's interpretation, the act of the canopy providing the herd with shelter from the elements is given freely, without expectation or need of anything in return.
Such an act is classified as generosity and so is virtuous by nature. Atkins agrees, also noting that the "Sweet" favor of the canopy will share the same fate as the beauties, fading with time as the leaves disappear.
In the latter portion of her analysis, Vendler proposes a third, voluntary approach to death. All the natural images used in the poem point to including death as part of the cycle of life and imply that some things must embrace death willingly to allow for new growth to flourish.
The speaker goes on to associate breeding and procreation with a new supply of budding virtue in the final lines of the poem. This surrender of beauty and the proliferation of virtue is implied as the way to triumph over Time and Death, and is the primary message from the speaker.Sonnet 12 is one of sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare.
It is a procreation sonnet within the Fair Youth sequence. Michael Schoenfeldt's scholarly synopsis of the sonnet focuses on Vendler's analysis of the anthropomorphizing of the autumnal mortality.
We propose that Sonnet 12 is one of several that are numbered to coincide with an interval of time.
We suggest that Sonnet 12 invokes “hours”, Sonnet 7 “the day” (“Sun”-day the 7th day), Sonnet 30 the Month, Sonnet 52 weeks in a “year”, and Sonnet 60 – minutes.
Shakespeare's Sonnets Summary and Analysis of Sonnet 12 - "When I do count the clock that tells the time" Sonnet 12 is one of the most famous sonnets of English tradition. It is one of the "procreation" sonnets of the fair lord sequence. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of various sonnets by.
Themes in the Sonnets Although love is the overarching theme of the sonnets, there are three specific underlying themes: (1) the brevity of life, (2) the transience of beauty, and (3) the trappings of desire.
Welcome. All the sonnets are provided here, with descriptive commentary attached to each one, giving explanations of difficult and unfamiliar words and phrases, and with a full analysis of any special problems of interpretation which arise. Home Study Guides Shakespeare's Sonnets Sonnet 12 - "When I do count the clock that tells the time" Summary and Analysis Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Shakespeare.