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How Soon Hath Time Analysis

  • Date Submitted: 05/06/2012 04:55 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 73.3 
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A Mature John Milton’s “How Soon Hath Time”
During John Milton’s early adulthood, he had trouble fitting in at Cambridge. Years after he finished at Cambridge, he retired for “private study and literacy composition” (“John Milton”). It was around this time that he wrote his sonnet “How Soon Hath Time” as well as others. John Milton’s sonnet brings up the desperation he feels about becoming a man and succeeding in life as a poet/writer. By the end of the sonnet Milton realizes that all he has to do is trust in God, and good fortunes will come.
In the first line of   Milton’s sonnet “time” is personified as a “thief”, to emphasize that as time goes on his youth (the child and carefree attitude) has to go away, and he had to take on more responsibility very quickly (at a young age) (1). It also emphasizes the fact that when people become adults and look back on their lives and wonder where their childhoods went, almost if life went by too fast. Alliteration for “three and twentieth year” emphasizes Milton’s age of 24; since his 23rd year was “Stoln” away from him. The third line is where “days” is personified as flying. According to the OED career is defined as “to gallop, run or move at full speed”. This means that during the third line Milton is hoping for his “days” to “fly” by, hoping for something special/monumental to happen in his life (3). A metaphor in the fourth line was used to represent his late childhood to “late spring”. Alliteration was also used “no bud or blossom” to accent that nothing really special happened during his late childhood like puberty (4). Since puberty is a symbol for becoming a man/woman; if in his “late spring” there were “no buds or blossoms”, Milton most likely felt singled out (4).
In the second quatrain in line 5, Milton wonders why his appearance does not tell the truth. The definition of semblance is “the appearance or outward aspect of a person or thing”, according to the OED. Line 7 has a metaphor, “inward ripeness doth...


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