“Sonnet 73” is a poignant sonnet for anyone who has sensed time passing by too quickly, and the need to hang on to youth, life, and experiences much more tightly. This sonnet uses winter, night, and a dying fire as metaphors for the inevitable approach of Death. This sonnet is excellent to use for literary elements, TP-CASTT analysis, and for a student to connect their own experience of time passing by too quickly. While old age and death may seem far away for our students, the final activity will help them understand exactly what Shakespeare is trying to say to his readers.
Analysis of literature and poetry can sometimes be difficult for students to grasp. With the help of acronyms, however, key themes and ideas can be more easily discovered and understood! Two acronyms to start incorporating with your ELA students are TWIST and TP-CASTT. Both highlight important concepts from the work and will help increase overall literary comprehension!
William Shakespeare Sonnets - Shakespeare Sonnet 73 TPCASTT Analysis
HERE LIETH W. SHAKESPEARE HE RANETH OUT OF TIME
The narrator might be talking about a special time of year, or a holiday.
The narrator is comparing his increasing age to things like fall/winter, twilight/night, and dying embers from a fire. At the end, he says that love and appreciation can increase when time is running out.
The narrator’s use of metaphor for the seasons, twilight, and a dying fire seem like he is concerned with the passing of time, and with how time has aged him. The lessening of time creates a sense of urgency to love more strongly and cherish things more closely.
Shakespeare uses words like bare, ruined, fadeth, death, ashes, deathbed, expire, and consumed to invoke images of death and time running out. The words are depressing and somewhat desperate.
A shift occurs in the final couplet when the narrator points out that the effect of getting older is that one must love the time he has more strongly, and cherish the little things.
After reading the poem, my prediction about the title was incorrect, since Shakespeare did not focus on a time of year, but discussed the passage of time that leads to death.
Love strongly and spend your time wisely because you never know how much time is left.