Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sonnet 2

"Sonnet 2" appears to depict the aging process, that a man would be akin to the landscape, with his flora being ravaged by winter. "When forty winters shall besiege my brow" tells of "deep trenches" in this "landscape" that is the man describing his aging state, how wrinkles develop on the surface of the skin, how the joints aren't just a fluid as they used to be. But heavy details focus on the narrator's genitelia, described as "The youth's proud livery, so gazed on now/Will be a tattered weed of small worth held:" Everyone can feel worthless when Time makes the flesh coarse, the mind blind to its senses and other "old" details, but this narrator would especially feel useless if he were no longer the proper lover he used to be.

Like the first sonnet, "Sonnet 2" celebrates the passing on of generations. This narrator is thankful that he is able to pass his genes onto another person, hence achieving some level of immortality. The previous sonnet started as optimistic of the offspring growing up, but pessimistic on the level that he or she may be responsible for a famine of society as well as a famine of not passing the blood on to another. This sonnet offers a glimmer of hope, with "This were to be new made when thou art old/And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold." The narrator could be even be laying on his deathbed and comment on this, knowing his body will be spent, his mind weary, but that his code has been passed on to someone else.

"Sonnet 2" is one of the first set of sonnets that depict "procreation," in the organic, human sense and in the Shakespeare's sense that the fun with sonnets was just beginning.
- Kristopher

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