See in text (Sonnet 55)
The rapid, unrelenting passage of time is one of the central themes in Shakespeare’s Sonnets, arising in nearly every poem. The treatment of time in Sonnet 55 is unique in that the speaker alludes to the coming Judgment Day, a point when time ceases. In the Christian tradition, Judgment Day marks the end of the world, when God will sort all souls, living and dead, into their proper places in heaven and hell. This sense of time coming to an end reframes the poet’s mission. The speaker’s task is not to preserve the fair youth’s memory forever, but to do so until Judgment Day.
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