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Sonnet 60 Time Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #4

And time that gave doth now his gift confound. (7-8)

As we've talked about elsewhere in this module, this line contains a Biblical echo of Job 1:21. By deleting the reference to the Lord and making the phrase about time, Shakespeare takes away the religious context and replaces it with a naturalistic one. In the process, you could say that he takes away all hope of an afterlife waiting at the end of time. Still, Shakespeare's speaker is willing to give time credit for being the one who "gave." This won't last for long, though, so stay tuned.

Quote #5

Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow. (9-12)

Shakespeare's speaker is no longer giving time any credit—except for destructive power, that is. Now he thinks that absolutely everything—well, everything that "stands" at least—will be destroyed by time. Gee, aren't we pessimistic?

Quote #6

And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand. (13-14)

In the closing couplet of the poem, we can see that the speaker isn't quite ready to give up. He's hopeful, though not confident, that his poetry will last into the future, and thus continue to praise the object of his affections. This doesn't mean that he thinks the "verse" will last forever, of course. In fact, you can almost interpret the reference to time's "cruel hand" as a kind of ominous "To be continued…" message. And if he's leaving the door open for a sequel, that doesn't necessarily mean good things to come.

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