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Sonnet 73 Questions

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

  1. Each of Sonnet 73's quatrains is based on a different set of imagery: the tree in quatrain 1, the sunset in quatrain 2, and the glowing of a fire 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? 
  2. Based on this poem, what do you think the relationship is between the speaker and the person he refers to as "thou"?
  3. Do the speaker's thoughts on life, aging, and death still resonate in the age of botox and artificial life support systems? What would the speaker think of our world if he visited it? 
  4. Sonnet 73 clearly deals with some very powerful emotions. Would you say that the sonnet form takes away from or helps express these emotions? 
  5. Why do you think Shakespeare waited so long before revealing that Sonnet 73 was actually a love poem (i.e., through the word "love" in line 13)? Why not just be up front about it?

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