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Sonnet 60 Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why do you think Shakespeare waited so long before revealing that Sonnet 60 was actually a love poem (i.e. through the word "thy" in Line 14)? Should we have seen that coming?
  2. Each of Sonnet 60's quatrains is based on a different set of imagery: the sea in quatrain 1, the sun in quatrain 2, and agriculture in quatrain 3. Why do you think Shakespeare chose to use these images in this order? Could he have used the same imagery in a different order to illustrate the same ideas? And why those images in the first place?
  3. What is the connection between the love theme introduced in Line 14 of the poem and the time-and-death theme that runs through the whole thing?
  4. When the speaker uses the word "our" in Line 2, is he referring to all of humanity, or just himself and the addressee introduced in Line 14?
  5. How does Shakespeare make use of the sonnet form in this poem? Does he follow all the rules to the letter, or does he shake things up in places? And when and if he does shake things up, to what effect?

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