Syntax in Sonnet 73

Syntax Examples in Sonnet 73:

Sonnet 73 2

"thy love..."   (Sonnet 73)

The reader’s understanding of “this” affects their reading of “thy love.” If “this” is the speaker’s love for the youth, then “thy love” could refer to the youth’s love for the speaker: the speaker’s portrayal of his consuming love makes the youth love him more. If “this” is the speaker’s aging, then “thy love” could refer to the youth’s self-love or narcissistic love of his beauty: in watching the speaker age, the youth loves his youth even more. “Thy love” could also be a syntactically fraught way of saying my love for you, “thy” characterizes rather than possesses “love”, which would mean that the youth’s ability to perceive the speaker’s internal anguish makes the speaker’s love for him more strong.

"take away..."   (Sonnet 73)

The syntax of this phrase confuses the meaning of these two lines. The speaker is saying that “black night” takes away the sunset and causes “all to rest.” “Death’s second self” is meant to characterize the “black night.” However, this extraneous metaphor that re-describes “black night” syntactically interrupts the idea of the phrase. It delays the time between the sunset and the “rest” that completes the day, metaphorically inserting more time into the end of the day, or the end of one’s life. The form of these lines mimics the speaker’s desire to hold on to and extend the last minutes of his fading life.