Critical Appreciation of Sonnet 65 | Sonnet 65 by William Shakespeare


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Critical Appreciation of Sonnet 65 | Sonnet 65 by William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare counts among the finest sonneteers of the Elizabethan Age. He stands almost unrivalled with a rare combination of depth, variety, simplicity and richness of thoughts in his creations.
Shakespeare's sonnets are the lyrical expression of friendship, his experience and devotion to love.

Our present beautiful sonnet, SONNET 65, forms a link in the long chain of sonnets composed on the theme of the invincibility of time, an issue quite common in Shakespearan sonnets. 

Introduction to Sonnet 65

Sonnet 65 is a continuation of the thoughts professed in SONNET 60 and SONNET 64 . Thus, the poet reflects upon life and finds that all earthly possessions are subject to decay and destruction. 
Cruel hands of time spare nothing, not even the strongest and the most powerful of terrestrial objects. This realisation of times all ravaging power has found its expression most forcefully in the poem. 
However, the concluding couplet, as usual brings about a termination to the poet's thoughts and expresses his firm confidence in his own poetic ability which he feels can withstand the cruel and relentless on slaught of time.

Summary of Sonnet 65

The poet begans his reflection in a mood of awe and sadness by thinking of how even things made of brass, stone and earth and also the boundless sea have to admit defeat confronted with the all powerful time. Sad mortality destroys all such powerful objects and under such circumstances it is natural that beauty should fair very miserly. As the poet beautifully observers, 
     "How with this rage beauty hold a plea
Whose action is no stronger than a flower".
The poet knows that there is nothing in this world that can check this wanton destruction of time. He is in such a mood of despair and fear that the poet suddenly becomes aware of his own poetic talent which can perhaps fight successfully against times destruction of beauty. He hopes that the beauty of his mistress will never get faded and lost when that will be kept anested in the poet's verses.

Literary devices used in Sonnet 65

This sonnet is remarkable for its boldness of expression and the effectiveness of the use of epithets and images. The description of the transitory quality of beauty has been nicely given through the image where the poet ask
       " How shall Time's best jewel from
Time's chest lie hid?".
This image is remarkable for its suggestiveness as well as the grim truth it seeks to convey. This sonnet is also exceptional in the sense that here the Idea moves forwarded very forcefully, signifying the swift movement of time in human life. The poet has indeed made a nice balance between the Idea and its expression in this sonnet.
As has been already pointed out, the basic idea of the sonnet has little novelty of originality about it, for Shakespeare had put forwarded identical ideas in a number of his sonnets. But yet, this sonnet has one special quality- it moves forward to its inevitable conclusion with a boldness and vigour which is normally not found in Shakespearan sonnets.

Structure of Sonnet 65

The structure of this sonnet contains three quatrains of four lines each and a final rhyming couplet. The rhyming pattern is abab cdcd efef gg.  The words and phrases also nicely blend with the ideas, expressions of the poem providing a balanced form of the poem


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