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Age and Youth by William Shakespeare

Categories Age, Shakespeare

Essay, Pages 4 (875 words)



Essay, Pages 4 (875 words)

The poem “age and youth”, by William Shakespeare (born April 26th 1564? passed away April 23rd 1616) is one of his extensive poems which was released in 1588. It is apart of a collection of various poems in “The Passionate Pilgrim”,? Age and Youth being numeral XII. These numerous poems centre on the concepts of the early and late phases in life. More especially nevertheless his one sided understanding on the two subjects. “Youth” is cast as being the more favourable and numerous lines throughout the poem display this predisposition.

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“Youth is hot and bold, age is weak and cold”. “Youth like summer season brave, age like winter season bare” In fact the whole poem centers around the abovementioned topic (youth) being the more lovely and visually pleasing than barren and cold “aging”. Shakespeare’s themes in this particular poem are not unlike a lot of the others in “The enthusiastic pilgrim”, the set of poems from which “age and youth” originates, with traditional styles such as love and charm and the related motifs of time and mutability.

Being a “continuation” of the previous poems in “The Enthusiastic Pilgrim” it links with his theme of attending to love and praise not to a lady but instead to a young guy full of youth and vigor. “Venus, with young Adonis sitting by her Under a myrtle shade, began to woo him” The passionate pilgrim XI “My much better angel is a male right fair” The enthusiastic pilgrim II Nevertheless “youth and age” is focused primarily on the subjects formerly stated (youth and age) however with regard to the young guy in the previous poems of “The Enthusiastic Pilgrim”.

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In impact the boy is eternalized by the poem therefore defying the destructiveness of time. This is one of the factors behind this poem, to reveal how time damages youth and beauty. “Youth has plenty of sport, age’s breath is short”. A variety of poetic gadgets such as the juxtaposition of 2 complete opposites, the repetition of styles, the specific images, metaphoric language and similes, just to call a few, have actually been used to communicate these styles. “Youth like summer season morne, age like winter season weather condition”.

A good example of the juxtaposition of age and youth as summer and winter, used intentionally to create an imagery of youth as being fertile, full of life and pleasant (as we would picture summer) and age being cold, dark and associated with death. Shakespeare has used this as though he is describing the lifecycle from birth (summer, youth) to death (winter, old age). In addition similes have been used as another technique showing the similarities between summer and youth and old age and winter. “Youth is nimble, age is lame”.

Once again shows the simplicity of the poem and the theme Shakespeare is conveying to the reader. Metaphoric language is used here to define youth and age, it gives it an almost human quality as though youth and age can be imagined as two different people (i. e. personification). It is a very effective way of providing imagery for the reader. Other lines follow a similar pattern, “Youth is full of sport, age’s breath is short” again showing the vitality of youth and the frailty and finality of old age. The use of hyperbole as a technique is evident throughout the poem.

Most of the lines have some form of hyperbole by using to greatly exaggerated extremes. “hot and cold”, “wild and tame,” “summer and winter,” “age and youth cannot live together”. All of these quotes exaggerate the characteristics of both age and youth and are important so there are no ambiguities between the two. They are as opposite as “hot and cold”. The use of masculine rhyme is present in the poem however it is not consistent throughout the whole poem. “Youth is full of sport, Ages breath is short, Youth is nimble, Age is lame Youth is hot and bold, Age is weake and cold.

Youth is wild, and Age I s tame. ” The repetition of youth and age gives it flowing rhythm and therefore rhyme is not necessary. Alliteration is used sparingly and not a strong technique in the poem. It is only used as a play on words, to humorously emphasise the initial consonants of the lines being read. “Age, I do abhor thee; youth, I do adore thee”. It is uplifting and gives the mood a somewhat flavour due to the alliteration being used. In brief the most focal and constant theme in the poem is the unwillingness to become old and the negative aspects of old age.

“Age, I do abhor thee; youth, I do adore thee”. Youth is so vibrant and lively, a stark comparison to old age, an idea which Shakespeare stubbornly holds on to. “Age, I do defy thee: O, sweet shepherd, hie thee”. The melancholic mood of the poem expresses Shakespeare’s thoughtful sadness on growing old and the inevitability life and death. The poetic techniques effectively contrast how wonderful youth is and how lackluster and bleak we become as we get older. “Youth” is consistently depicted as being that of a young person with “age” being that of an old “lame” nearly dying man,” ages breath is short”.

Cite this essay

Age and Youth by William Shakespeare. (2016, Sep 19). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/age-and-youth-by-william-shakespeare-essay

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