Sonnet 123 By William Shakespeare Created by Keitu & Isabella
About the Poem and Poet • William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) • One of the most famous writers in the English language • Recognized for his works of playwrights and poetry • This poem was written specifically for youth • Discusses the ideas inevitable change, the purpose of time in society.
Meaning • The first half this poem focused mainly on time, and how it changes. It is clear the narrator is bothered by it and end up disagreeing that all the changes happening around him/her is “nothing novel, nothing strange.” and goes on to speak about how society is using new marvellous, and “newer” things to cover up what has already been there the whole time. This is used to somehow show that society is getting better, evolving, changing, meanwhile all that is being done has been covering up the past. • In the second half, speaks about how we as a society take new things that are in many ways unnecessary and make them important. How we as a society are so easily influenced to think that what is new is better than what we know and what we remember from the past. Despite all of the changes and hasty decisions society is making sometimes a person has to be true, the narrator says “this I do vow and this shall ever be; I will be true, despite thy scythe and thee” to symbolise that despite of all that is happening around him/her he was stay true to himself/herself.
Structure • The poem is written in iambic pentameter • The rhyme scheme is A,B,A,B,C,D,C,D..etc • The entire poem is all one stanza, hence the poem being a sonnet. • 14 lines • Each line with 10 syllables each
Effect • With the use of language, along with imagery, this poem has major effect on the reader. When looking at the literary devices mentioned before, the reader gets a clear idea of what this poem is try to portray. The use of ‘strong’ words like scythe and using pyramids to represent the big changes and progress that the narrator sees in his/her life. The structure of the poem and the organization of ideas leads the reader to the conclusion that the narrator is somewhat displeased with the way the world works, always looking for a newer, better alternative as opposed to what is already there. One might agree with the narrator at this point, as the poem lets you see through the eyes of another person, with a entirely different outlook on life.
Conclusion • Sonnet 123 is a mesmerizing poem about change and refusing to accept everything that comes with change. The narrator speaks about how change has a negative effect and how changing should be to someone’s preference and how society is easily influenced but in the middle of all of this he/she chooses to stay true to themselves.