Imagery in Sonnet 60

Imagery Examples in Sonnet 60:

Sonnet 60 2

"scythe..."   (Sonnet 60)

The symbol of the “scythe” in this line weaves together multiple metaphorical threads. The scythe maintains the agrarian imagery of the third quatrain. It also alludes to Chronos, the Greco-Roman god of time—Chronos is the origin of “chronology.” This allusion casts time in a distinctly negative light, for Chronos, with his scythe, represents time in all of its destructive force. Finally, on the level of imagery, the curved scythe brings to mind again the symbols of crookedness and eclipses found in the second quatrain.

"pebbled shore,..."   (Sonnet 60)

As the second line makes clear, the “pebbled shore” represents the destination of each human life. The image of the afterlife as a shore points to ancient Greek mythology, in which Hades—the underworld—lies across the vast river Styx. The pebbles, tiny and numerous, represent all the deceased who have reached the end.