Shakespeare Sonnet 2, When forty winters shall beseige thy brow

Shakespeare Sonnet 2, When forty winters shall beseige thy brow

This is a short summary of Shakespeare sonnet 2. Continue reading for complete analysis and meaning in the modern text. For the complete list of 154 sonnets, check the collection of Shakespeare Sonnets with analysis.

Shakespeare Sonnet 2 (ORIGINAL TEXT)

When forty winters shall beseige thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field,
Thy youth’s proud livery, so gazed on now,
Will be a tatter’d weed, of small worth held:
Then being ask’d where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days;
To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserved thy beauty’s use,
If thou couldst answer ‘This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,’
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel’st it cold.


Shakespeare Sonnet 2 MODERN TEXT (Translation)

When forty winters shall besiege thy brow, Shakespeare sonnet 2

Shakespeare Sonnet 2 Summary and Analysis

Shakespeare Sonnet 2 is the continuation of the theme of beauty and reproduction from Sonnet 1. Here the speaker tells his lover that, when forty years will pass and time will leave its impression on his beautiful features and dig deep wrinkles on his face, then his pride over his beauty that is so adored now will be worthless.

In the second quatrain, the speaker talks about consequences of his preserved beauty and how it will be dealt by society. He says that, if being asked about his bygone beauty and the treasures of the youth, it would be shameful to reply that all the beauty is lost within his “own deep-sunken eyes”.

In the third quatrain, the speaker shows the brighter side of having children. He says that he will receive praise if could answer that he spent his beauty in raising a child. It will be a good excuse that he looks so old because of all effort he put in raising a child. The beauty of your child will be an incarnation of you.

If the final couplet, the speaker tells that it’s like taking birth again in old age and see the warm blood flowing through his vein when actually it’s cold.


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