Explication of William Shakespeare's Sonnet 2

Topics: Reproduction, Sex, Ageing Pages: 3 (1039 words) Published: September 20, 2012
Sonnet 2 by William Shakespeare describes the aging process and the importance of procreating in order to leave one’s mark both physically and mentally.
The narrator of the sonnet is someone who is in love with the addressee and is hoping to convince them that they should procreate. There is no evidence from the sonnet that the narrator is a male or female, but from reading and analyzing what the author is trying to say, it is a stronger argument to consider the narrator from a female perspective. The narrator- if considered a female- is trying to convince a male that he is getting older and time is not slowing down. There are several references of age and time in the sonnet made by the narrator including, “when forty winters shall besiege thy brow, and dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field” (lines 1-2) and “Thy youth’s proud livery/ […] / will be a tattered weed” (ll. 2-3). These lines from the sonnet show that the narrator is pointing out evidence of the aging process that the addressee may not be aware of. The skin is beginning to wrinkle and the things that were once awed at are now beginning to shrivel up and die just as a weed would do.

The addressee of this is an individual that the narrator is fond of and would like to have a child with. Again there is no evidence to support whether or not the addressee is a male or female, but it is easier to conclude that the addressee is a male if the narrator is female. The addressee of the sonnet has had the aging process hit them pretty hard and as stated earlier that is what the narrator is trying to point out. The addressee during their youth had treasures within their looks, but now as individuals have pointed out it is beginning to fade away (ll. 5-8). The narrator of the sonnet is convincing the addressee that having a child is the answer to the symptoms of time that the addressee is experiencing. Shakespeare writes at the end of the sonnet “if thou couldst answer ‘This fair child of mine shall sum my...
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