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Sonnet 73

Plagiarizing Himself

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Shakespeare often reused images and metaphors, stealing from himself. The simile in Friar Lawrence’s musing from Romeo and Juliet,

And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume.

is echoed in the metaphor of the third quatrain of  Sonnet 73.

In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
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That time of year thou mayst in me behold

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That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.Metaphor

In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.Metaphor

In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by.Metaphor

This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.


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Plagiarizing Himself