Analysis Of Sonnet 2 Essay, Research Paper
In Sonnet 2, Shakespeare stresses to his lover that beauty will not last, and
that it is selfish and foolish for anyone not to prepare for the loss of beauty
and youth by having a child to carry on unsurpassed beauty. The sonnet can be
cynically seen as Shakespeare’s attempt to get his lover to sleep with him
rather than as a lesson in living life.
In the first quatrain Shakespeare says that later on, your youth will be
worthless. The greatness of your youth, admired by everyone now, will be, will
be as worthless as a “tatter’d weed of small worth held”. Shakespeare says this
worthlessness will be when forty years of age wrinkles your brow and when there
are, “deep trenches in thy beauty’s field”. The personification is seen in the
metaphor: “deep trenches in thy beauty’s field” which can be seen as wrinkles in
a beautiful face. This gives readers a picture of the old age that has yet to
come for some.
In the second quatrain, when what has yet to come for some has came, and when
you are asked, where is your beauty now? And when you’re asked, “where are all
the treasures of thy lusty days?” You must reply that These “treasures of thy
lusty days” or offspring from your youth are lost in “thine own deep sunken
eyes” states the poet. In this place of old age where your youth is, is also
greed and self-obsession which is written as “all-eating shame and thriftless
praise” by Shakespeare. The metaphor of “all-eating shame” is effective in how
readers sense a feeling of negativity from the words of Shakespeare’s hand.
In the third quatrain, where Shakespeare’s hand rhymes of regret, the ideal
answer is shown. The poet states, “This fair child of mine shall sum my account
and make my old excuse, proving his beauty by succession thine!” This was the
answer wished to be used but could not be. Shakespeare says, “How much more
praise deserved thy beauty’s use” which regrets, if only your beauty could have
been put to a greater use.
The couplet then describes what it would be like to have this baby. Shakespeare
poetically states that this baby would be “new made when thou art old” This
means that the baby would be young while you are old. The final line tells how
you would see your own blood flow warm through the baby while you are cold.
“And see thy warm blood when thou feel’st it cold.”