Imagery in Sonnet 116

Imagery Examples in Sonnet 116:

Sonnet 116 2

"O no!..."   (Sonnet 116)

The exclamation “O no!” also defines a tonal shift. The first quatrain is mired in dry, legal language. The second and third quatrains, by contrast, depict stars, storms, ships at sea, Father Time’s sickle, and Doomsday. As he transitions into a positive definition of love, the imagery becomes lively, the tone romantic.

" bending sickle's..."   (Sonnet 116)

The “bending sickle” in this line recalls the image of Father Time present throughout the sonnet sequence. This metaphor equates time with the image of the grim reaper, or death itself. With this imagery the speaker is suggesting that erotic love based on youth and beauty is temporal and subject to physical death.