Cheating Death In Shakespeare's Life

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Cheating time is something that many wish they had the luxury of being able to do. Halting time and preventing an individual or loved one from passing away, is an ability that is seemingly only found in fairy tales. In reality, there is no way to avoid the inevitable ending to one’s life. The fear of death is so universal, but is something that humans have absolutely no control over. However, the thought of being forgotten, known as Athazagoraphobia, is far more manageable. People can have some influence on determining how they live on far beyond the time of their death. This idea is exemplified through William Shakespeare 's work as he continually struggles to face the idea of death. The desire to cheat death and live on forever is a common…show more content…
In Shakespeare’s eyes, having children is yet another way to ensure that one’s time on earth never comes to an end, as he sees them as a continuation of their parents’ lives. Through his sonnets, Shakespeare repeatedly stresses the concept of having children in order to extend an individual 's life. He warns the reader that if they do not have kids, they will die lonely with nobody to carry on their family name. In Sonnet 11, Shakespeare claims that beautiful people “shouldst print more” and that they should “not let that copy die.” He believes that beauty and youth can be saved through having children. Additionally, Shakespeare notes that if people cease to have children, the world will simply end, leaving absolutely no one to remember those who came before. Not only does he discuss remaining in people’s memories through literature and work, but through the minds of loved ones as well. Today, it is not uncommon to see parents attempting to live vicariously through their children. They themselves have a fear of growing old and losing their youth, so they may get overly involved in their kids’ activities and lives in general. People have children because they, in fact, want to cheat death, and this is one of the several ways to stay young at heart. Even so, these children will grow up with memories of their parents to share for generations to come. In this way, parents are ensuring that nobody will ever forget them. In Sonnet 9, Shakespeare views having children as a gift…show more content…
The most important memory that is embedded within individuals, is how they are treated by others. It is one thing to create a legacy for oneself, but none of that matters if an individual does not treat others with kindness and compassion. This can also be applied to respect and love, as people are more likely to have fond memories of someone who treats them in this manner. Therefore, one of the most successful ways to cheat death is by treating others with kindness and respect, as you would like to be treated yourself. Throughout Shakespeare’s extensive collection of sonnets, many of them revolve around the idea of love and its complications. In fact, Shakespeare reflects on certain lovers that he is no longer fond of based on their past actions. He refers to a past love as “sickly” and that he was “frantic-mad” in this relationship (Sonnet 147). People do not typically want their name to be associated with negativity. While it might be important for someone to be remembered in the afterlife, it all depends on how he or she is willing to be remembered. However, if one is negative towards someone and shows him anything less than respect, chances are that said individual will not be remembered in a positive light. Others, however, contribute positively to the lives of those around them, allowing them to live on through uplifting memories. In Sonnet 30, Shakespeare laments the loss of his youth, and the things he never accomplished, but wishes he had. He realizes just how
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