Sonnet 65 is a Shakespeare Sonnet. Sonnets are poems that have fourteen lines, while following a specific rhyme scheme and a particular meter. Sonnets typically speak of love or relationships in some way, while also being about the author’s thoughts on life. In Sonnet 65, Shakespeare uses an old man as a symbol for time and death. The Sonnet form is a popular, unique mode of poetry. Sonnets are typically composed of fourteen lines, with each line having ten syllables. Sonnets follow one of two rhyme schemes: either an alternating pattern or a Shakespearean/Italian Sonnet’s rhyme scheme.
These sonnets also have a particular meter depending on their specific form. The Sonnet form was first introduced by the Italians in the 14th century and later reintroduced to English speaking poets by Sir Thomas Wyatt during Tudor England (Wikipedia contributors). Sonnet 65 falls under the Shakespearean/Italian Sonnet category due to its use of iambic pentameter within each line as well as its rhyming pattern. Each line has ten syllables with a strict iambic pentameter. Sonnet 65 is one of Shakespeare’s “procreation sonnets,” or a Sonnet that speaks on the idea of creating a new life through the inspiration of Love (Wright).
In Sonnet 65, Shakespeare uses an old man as a symbol for time and death. Sonnet 65 falls under the Shakespearean/Italian Sonnet category due to its use of iambic pentameter within each line as well as its rhyming pattern. Each line has ten syllables with a strict iambic pentameter. Sonnet 65 is one of Shakespeare’s “procreation sonnets,” or a Sonnet that speaks on the idea of creating a new life through the inspiration of Love (Wright). Sonnet 65 follows the rhyme scheme A-B-A-B, C-D-C-D. This Sonnet has three quatrains and a couplet.
The first eight lines are the octave while the last six are known as the sestet. Shakespeare often uses “procreation sonnets” to talk about marriage and children, but Sonnet 65 is different because it focuses on old age instead of youthfulness or beauty (Geering). Sonnet 65 follows an alternating pattern. The rhyming scheme for line one is ABAB, line two is CDCD, line three is EFEF, line four EFGF, line five GFGF, etc. Sonnet 65 is written in iambic pentameter with the rhyme scheme A-B-A-B, C-D-C-D.
Sonnet 65 contrasts youth and age because it is typically assumed that Sonnets refer to the beauty of love, while Sonnet 65 has turned that idea on its head. Shakespeare wrote Sonnet 65 in the early part of his career when he was writing Sonnets about young men who are thought to be beautiful seeing as this Sonnet talks about old age instead (Harker). The sonnets typically speak of love or relationships in some way, while also being about the author’s thoughts on life. There are many theories of what Sonnets mean, but Sonnets tend to be about love, life/death, sex, beauty, women’s virtue and many other topics.
Sonnet 65 follows this rule closely. Sonnets follow a set rhyme scheme: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG (for example: “Let me not to the marriage of true minds” or “When I do count the clock that tells the time”). Sonnets usually focus on an idea or conflict and attempt to answer it. The final 2 lines of one sonnet often continue into the first 2 lines of another sonnet (for example: Sonnets 9-12 all interact with Sonnet 13 before Sonnet 14 finishes Sonnet 12’s argument).
Sonnets often use the phrase “in one respect” (for example: Sonnets 5, 16, and 17), which is used to make connections between different sonnets. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 65 focuses on the idea of time; more specifically, how it affects love. Lines 3-12 compare moments in time to things that are temporary (like a wink or an hour). The speaker then states that true love abides forever, like “eternity. ” Line 13 also plays with this idea by saying “all are but parts of one whole. ” This implies that there is no clear beginning or end—instead everything is connected.
Sonnet 65 is part of the Fair Youth Sonnet series (sonnets 1-126). These sonnets are Shakespeare’s attempt to show that he loves a specific young man. Sonnet 65 focuses on the speaker’s reflection on his own life, which shows how long he has loved someone. The first line implies that this realization has come after years of loving the youth, which may be discouraging for the speaker (he might see it as too late or realize that what he loves is not loveable), but it also serves as proof of true love.
Shakespeare Sonnet 65 explores how time affects human emotions and relationships. Lines 3-12 use imagery to suggest that things like nightfall and winter will soon pass, but “true love” can last forever. Sonnet 65 reflects on the speaker’s life and how he has loved someone for a seemingly infinite amount of time. By the end of Sonnet 65, the speaker realizes that their love is still alive after all this time (lines 13-14).