According to Jonathan Bate, Shakespeare relied heavily on these sections of Ovid's Metamorphoses while composing Sonnet 60, and these passages from Ovid roughly correspond to the three quatrains of the sonnet. Shakespeare would have looked back to ancient sources like many Renaissance writers of his time. In the book Shakespeare and Ovid , Johnathan Bate states that persons of the Renaissance period "believed passionately that the present could learn from the past" and that this belief "was the starting-point of education and a formative influence on the writing of the period".  There was a strong belief in Shakespeare's day that, though times change—changes which are the result of the passing pf time—the essentials of human nature, "the foundations of the affections of the human mind," did not change.  To look into the past, therefore, meant also for Shakespeare to look more deeply into the meaning of the present.  By looking back to Book XV of Ovid's Metamorphoses, Shakespeare also gives a modern view (one that includes minutes) of an ancient view of time, one that provides a contrast to the more mechanized time of the 1590s. Time, in Ovid's work and in the first three quatrains of Sonnet 60, is intertwined with the processes of nature, looking back to a time before time and nature were fractured. Just as the poem struggles with time, so Shakespeare's modernized use of Ovid struggles to reconcile the past view of time and the present view of time, the world as it was, and the world as it is.
A contrast or discrepancy between what is said and what is meant or between what happens and what is expected to happen in life and in literature. In verbal irony, characters say the opposite of what they mean. In irony of circumstance or situation, the opposite of what is expected occurs. In dramatic irony, a character speaks in ignorance of a situation or event known to the audience or to the other characters. Flannery O'Connor's short stories employ all these forms of irony, as does Poe's "Cask of Amontillado."