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   Sonnet 60

One of the best books ever written on acting

Acting notes from Playing Shakespeare by John Barton:

Concentrate on three things:

  1. The blank verse norm is again and again broken into by harsh contrapuntal stresses; 'dum-dum' rather than 'de- dum'.  Eight of the fourteen lines begin like that.

  2. The word 'time' is crucially important.

  3. Listen to how the movement of the verse and the actual sound and timbre of the of the words give the feeling of waves breaking remorselessly on the sea shore.
Read by Claire Marchionne
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But don't let the textual points make you overlook why you are saying it and what you are after.  Marry the onomatopoeia with clear intentions and great humanity.

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd,
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
  And yet to times in hope, my verse shall stand.
  Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

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