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Previous Sonnet: 11

Sonnet 12

One of the best books ever written about acting Penguin: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee

Acting notes from Playing Shakespeare by John Barton: This sonnet is not only a single sentence, but it is a terrific exercise in our old friends alliteration and antithesis. Take the text more slowly than you would in performance. If you take it too fast it will sound ‘read’ rather than something the speaker has found and made his own. For more on performing this sonnet read the book pages 106/7.

The Penguin edition of the Sonnets edited by John Kerrigan: See introduction pages 33 – 38 for the revolutionary effect of the mechanical clock in Shakespeare’s time..”

Early clock
When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls, all silvered o'er with white; 
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer's green all girded up in sheaves,
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
  And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence
Read by Claire Marchionne
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Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

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Introduction to the Sonnets

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