Allusion in Sonnet 73

Allusion Examples in Sonnet 73:

Sonnet 73 2

"Consumed..."   (Sonnet 73)

The imagery that the speaker creates here – fire being consumed by that which gave it birth; the death-bed and youth being inextricably linked — alludes to the idea of the phoenix. A phoenix is a mythological bird that lives for a century, self-immolates, and is then reborn from the ashes. The phoenix is a symbol for immortality and the cyclical nature of life and death. This imagery suggests that the speaker’s has an accepting attitude towards inevitable death.

"was nourished by..."   (Sonnet 73)

This line echoes the Metamorphosis in which Ovid describes Helen of Troy aging: “The daughter of Tyndarus weeps, too, as she beholds in her mirror the wrinkles of old age, and enquires of herself why it is that she was twice ravished. Thou, Time, the consumer of all things, and thou, hateful Old Age, together destroy all things; and, by degrees ye consume each thing, decayed by the teeth of age, with a slow death” (Met, VX.234-6). This allusion recalls the previous sonnets in which the speaker railed against time as the destroyer of all things.