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Sonnet 18 : Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
‘’ William Shakespeare was one of the most prominent playwrights and poets of the
sixteenth century’’.’’Shakespeare is often discussed as the greatest writer in the English
language'', ‘’He wrote many famous plays and sonnets, these themes of these sonnets are
usually love, beauty, time, and jealousy to mortality and infidelity.This collection of sonnets
is believed to be addressed to two different persons. On this basis, these sonnets are
divided into two portions. The first portion consists of the first 126 sonnets. These sonnets
are addressed to a male beloved. Some of these sonnets directly persuade the guy to marry
while the rest addresses general themes like mortality, the value of poetry, and the
attainment of immortality. The next portion consists of twenty-eight sonnets. These
sonnets are addressed to some mysterious lady. The lady is usually referred to as the “dark
lady.” These sonnets address the themes of greed, appetite, and sexual desires.’’ So what
does this sonnet speak about ? When and where was it written ? And what is the message
that William Shakespeare wanted to send to readers ? And the most important to ask : is
sonnet 18 considered famous or special in the past or in nowadays ?
‘’Sonnet 18 is an English or Elizabethan sonnet in which it contains 14 lines,
including three quatrains
1
and a couplet
2
, and is written in iambic pentameter
3
. The poem
takes the form of a direct address to an unnamed subject. The volta
4
occurs at the
beginning of the third quatrain, where the poet turns his attention to the future " But thy
eternal summer shall not fade."
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Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” is one of his most beautiful pieces of
poetry. This sonnet is also referred to as “Sonnet 18.” It was written in the 1590s and was
published in his collection of sonnets in 1609.
This sonnet belongs to the first part of the sonnet collection and is, therefore, considered
to be addressed to the beloved male, As the number of this sonnet is eighteenth, it is clear
that it discusses the themes of mortality, the value of poetry, and the attainment of
immortality.
‘’Sonnet 18 touches on a few simple themes like love : The speaker begins by
comparing the man’s beauty to summer, but soon the man becomes a force of nature
himself''. In the line “thy eternal summer shall not fade,” the man suddenly embodies
summer. As a perfect being, he is even powerful than the summer’s day to which he has
been compared up to this point. In this way, Shakespeare suggests that love is an even
more powerful force than nature. He also uuses sonnet 18 in order to praise his beloved’s
beauty and describe all the ways in which their beauty is preferable to a summer day. The
stability of love and its power to immortalize someone is the overarching theme of this
poem. The poet begins with an opening question: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s
day?” and spends the rest of the poem answering that question. ‘’The poem is
straightforward in language and intent. Several poetic devices enhance the poem’s
meaning through the use of form, imagery, and figurative language to express how his
beloved possesses an eternal beauty that far surpasses the brightness of that all-too-
fleeting summer day. Shakespeare uses these devices to also ensure the permanence of his
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poem, ensuring that it is everlasting and never succumbs to death like his beloved.’’
The poet starts the praise of his beloved without ostentation and slowly builds the image of
his beloved into that perfect being. His beloved is compared to summer in the first 8 lines
as “more lovely and more temperate” than a summer’s day, but at the start of the 9th line,
his beloved becomes summer as the poet states, “but thy eternal summer shall not fade.”
With the 9th line of a sonnet often being the volta or the “turn” of the poem, this may be
relevant. The beloved has become the very standard by which true beauty can and should
be judged. The latter part of the poem is marked by a more expansive tone exploring
deeper feelings. The poet responds to such joy and beauty by ensuring that his beloved will
last forever, saved from the oblivion that accompanies death. The easy music of the poem
may also work to reinforce the inferiority of summer compared to the beloved.
‘’Shakespeare primarily uses imagery of nature throughout the poem to proclaim
his feelings about the beauty of his beloved. He describes summer in a way that contrasts
the kind of summer we usually picture. “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May”
shows that the poet sees the summer climate as a blow to the spring flowers. He wants to
show just how much better his beloved’s beauty is compared to that of summer.
Shakespeare works to tear down all positive thoughts of summer so that the reader can
recognize just how much he lifts up the image of his beloved. In addition, when the poet
describes the sun, he uses the words “gold complexion dimmed.” The poet again
downplays the familiar'' brightness of the warm, comforting sun, referring to its ray as
“dimmed.” As a result of describing the season’s climate, the poet wants readers to see
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that his beloved has looks that will never change and that summer pales greatly in
comparison to his beloved.
Sonnet 18 contains the elements of a classic sonnet. It is written in 14 lines and contains
the rhyme scheme ababcdcdefefgg. The first and third lines and second and fourth lines rhyme,
and the pattern continues until the last two lines, both of which rhyme. In addition, the poem is
written in iambic pentameter. Each line has 10 syllables, with the first unaccented and the
second accented. As a unit of writing, the sonnet has an organic beauty that depends on the
balance of symmetrical and asymmetrical form and melody. And historically, sonnets have
contained strong themes of love. As a result, Shakespeare uses the sonnet form to highlight his
message about his beloved and their magnificent appearance.
Something striking about this poem is how neat and perfectly tied up it is. Every single
line is in perfect iambic pentameter and there is no enjambment. While the poetry is elegant
and written in high and elevated language, the poem is still easy to read. The perfect adherence
to the classic sonnet form may work to demonstrate the perfection of the beloved being
described. This works well with the dominant theme of the poem.
Shakespeare also uses figurative language to bring his message home. Shakespeare
personifies the sun, calling it “the eye of heaven” with “his gold complexion dimmed” the
sun’s complexion dimmed in comparison to the beloved’s. Giving the sun a human quality
begins to degrade what we normally consider the powerful, untouchable sun. This helps
introduce Shakespeare’s theme of emphasizing his beloved’s lasting beauty. Another
Showing Page:
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personification appears in line 11 when the poet writes “Nor shall Death brag thou
wander’st in his shade.” Here, the poet portrays death as a figure who meanders his
“shade.” The act of equating death to a human being shows that his beloved transcends all
living creatures and even acts of nature. The beloved is the ideal figure not only in the
poet’s eyes but also in others who will eventually read this poem. The poet’s use of
figurative language makes his beloved a superior being whose beauty forever shines and
whose power can conquer death.
William Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 is justifiably considered one of the most beautiful
verses in the English language. The sonnet’s enduring power comes from Shakespeare’s
ability to capture the essence of love so clearly and succinctly.Most sonnets of Shakespeare
are love poems as a result, Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 is so famous, in part, because it
addresses a very human fear : that someday we will die and likely be forgotten. The
speaker of the poem insists that the beauty of his beloved will never truly die because he
has immortalized her in text. He has declared her to be more beautiful than one of the
most beautiful things, a summer day. But she will be constant, eternal, and it cannot be. So
the last thing to say is that : there must be something particular about this sonnet that
makes it so memorable. Perhaps it is something about the fact that it was designed to be
memorable : being memorable is actually its point.
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https://wordpress.lehigh.edu/ssh419/2018/12/19/shakespeare-sonnet-18/
https://litpriest.com/poems/sonnet-18-summary/
https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/resources-for-educators/classroom-
oresources/media-and-interactives/media/literary-arts/shakespeares-sonnet-18/
https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/why-is-shakespeare-s-sonnet-18-so-
famous-387045
https://www.britannica.com/art/volta-poetry
Terms to explain from the essay :
1 : QUATRAIN : : A UNIT OR GROUP OF FOUR LINES OF VERSE.
2: A COUPLET IS A PAIR OF SUCCESSIVE LINES OF METRE IN POETRY. A COUPLET USUALLY CONSISTS OF
TWO SUCCESSIVE LINES THAT RHYME AND HAVE THE SAME METRE.
3: IAMBIC PENTAMETER : A LINE OF VERSE WITH FIVE METRICAL FEET, EACH CONSISTING OF ONE
SHORT (OR UNSTRESSED) SYLLABLE FOLLOWED BY ONE LONG (OR STRESSED) SYLLABLE, FOR EXAMPLE
TWO HOUSEHOLDS, BOTH ALIKE IN D
4 : VOLTA, (ITALIAN: TURN”) THE TURN IN THOUGHT IN A SONNET THAT IS OFTEN INDICATED BY
SUCH INITIAL WORDS AS BUT, YET, OR AND YET. RELATED TOPICS: SONNET.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Sonnet 18 : Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? ‘’ William Shakespeare was one of the most prominent playwrights and poets of the sixteenth century’’.’’Shakespeare is often discussed as the greatest writer in the English language'', ‘’He wrote many famous plays and sonnets, these themes of these sonnets are usually love, beauty, time, and jealousy to mortality and infidelity.This collection of sonnets is believed to be addressed to two different persons. On this basis, these sonnets are divided into two portions. The first portion consists of the first 126 sonnets. These sonnets are addressed to a male beloved. Some of these sonnets directly persuade the guy to marry while the rest addresses general themes like mortality, the value of poetry, and the attainment of immortality. The next portion consists of twenty-eight sonnets. These sonnets are addressed to some mysterious lady. The lady is usually referred to as the “dark lady.” These sonnets address the themes of greed, appetite, and sexual desires.’’ So what does this sonnet speak about ? When and where was it written ? And what is the message that William Shakespeare wanted to send to readers ? And the most important to ask : is sonnet 18 considered famous or special in the past or in nowadays ? ‘’Sonnet 18 is an English or Elizabethan sonnet in which it contains 14 lines, including three quatrains1 and a couplet2, and is written in iambic pentameter3. The poem takes the form of a direct address to an unnamed subject. The volta4 occurs at the beginning of the third quatrain, where the poet turns his attention to the future " But thy eternal summer shall not fade." Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” is one of his most beautiful pieces of poetry. This sonnet is also referred to as “Sonnet 18.” It was written in the 1590s and was published in his collection of sonnets in 1609. This sonnet belongs to the first part of the sonnet collection and is, therefore, considered to be addressed to the beloved male, As the number of this sonnet is eighteenth, it is clear that it discusses the themes of mortality, the value of poetry, and the attainment of immortality. ‘’Sonnet 18 touches on a few simple themes like love : The speaker begins by comparing the man’s beauty to summer, but soon the man becomes a force of nature himself''. In the line “thy eternal summer shall not fade,” the man suddenly embodies summer. As a perfect being, he is even powerful than the summer’s day to which he has been compared up to this point. In this way, Shakespeare suggests that love is an even more powerful force than nature. He also uuses sonnet 18 in order to praise his beloved’s beauty and describe all the ways in which their beauty is preferable to a summer day. The stability of love and its power to immortalize someone is the overarching theme of this poem. The poet begins with an opening question: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” and spends the rest of the poem answering that question. ‘’The poem is straightforward in language and intent. Several poetic devices enhance the poem’s meaning through the use of form, imagery, and figurative language to express how his beloved possesses an eternal beauty that far surpasses the brightness of that all-toofleeting summer day. Shakespeare uses these devices to also ensure the permanence of his poem, ensuring that it is everlasting and never succumbs to death like his beloved.’’ The poet starts the praise of his beloved without ostentation and slowly builds the image of his beloved into that perfect being. His beloved is compared to summer in the first 8 lines as “more lovely and more temperate” than a summer’s day, but at the start of the 9th line, his beloved becomes summer as the poet states, “but thy eternal summer shall not fade.” With the 9th line of a sonnet often being the volta or the “turn” of the poem, this may be relevant. The beloved has become the very standard by which true beauty can and should be judged. The latter part of the poem is marked by a more expansive tone exploring deeper feelings. The poet responds to such joy and beauty by ensuring that his beloved will last forever, saved from the oblivion that accompanies death. The easy music of the poem may also work to reinforce the inferiority of summer compared to the beloved. ‘’Shakespeare primarily uses imagery of nature throughout the poem to proclaim his feelings about the beauty of his beloved. He describes summer in a way that contrasts the kind of summer we usually picture. “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” shows that the poet sees the summer climate as a blow to the spring flowers. He wants to show just how much better his beloved’s beauty is compared to that of summer. Shakespeare works to tear down all positive thoughts of summer so that the reader can recognize just how much he lifts up the image of his beloved. In addition, when the poet describes the sun, he uses the words “gold complexion dimmed.” The poet again downplays the familiar'' brightness of the warm, comforting sun, referring to its ray as “dimmed.” As a result of describing the season’s climate, the poet wants readers to see that his beloved has looks that will never change and that summer pales greatly in comparison to his beloved. Sonnet 18 contains the elements of a classic sonnet. It is written in 14 lines and contains the rhyme scheme ababcdcdefefgg. The first and third lines and second and fourth lines rhyme, and the pattern continues until the last two lines, both of which rhyme. In addition, the poem is written in iambic pentameter. Each line has 10 syllables, with the first unaccented and the second accented. As a unit of writing, the sonnet has an organic beauty that depends on the balance of symmetrical and asymmetrical form and melody. And historically, sonnets have contained strong themes of love. As a result, Shakespeare uses the sonnet form to highlight his message about his beloved and their magnificent appearance. Something striking about this poem is how neat and perfectly tied up it is. Every single line is in perfect iambic pentameter and there is no enjambment. While the poetry is elegant and written in high and elevated language, the poem is still easy to read. The perfect adherence to the classic sonnet form may work to demonstrate the perfection of the beloved being described. This works well with the dominant theme of the poem. Shakespeare also uses figurative language to bring his message home. Shakespeare personifies the sun, calling it “the eye of heaven” with “his gold complexion dimmed” – the sun’s complexion dimmed in comparison to the beloved’s. Giving the sun a human quality begins to degrade what we normally consider the powerful, untouchable sun. This helps introduce Shakespeare’s theme of emphasizing his beloved’s lasting beauty. Another personification appears in line 11 when the poet writes “Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade.” Here, the poet portrays death as a figure who meanders his “shade.” The act of equating death to a human being shows that his beloved transcends all living creatures and even acts of nature. The beloved is the ideal figure not only in the poet’s eyes but also in others who will eventually read this poem. The poet’s use of figurative language makes his beloved a superior being whose beauty forever shines and whose power can conquer death. William Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 is justifiably considered one of the most beautiful verses in the English language. The sonnet’s enduring power comes from Shakespeare’s ability to capture the essence of love so clearly and succinctly.Most sonnets of Shakespeare are love poems as a result, Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 is so famous, in part, because it addresses a very human fear : that someday we will die and likely be forgotten. The speaker of the poem insists that the beauty of his beloved will never truly die because he has immortalized her in text. He has declared her to be more beautiful than one of the most beautiful things, a summer day. But she will be constant, eternal, and it cannot be. So the last thing to say is that : there must be something particular about this sonnet that makes it so memorable. Perhaps it is something about the fact that it was designed to be memorable : being memorable is actually its point. https://wordpress.lehigh.edu/ssh419/2018/12/19/shakespeare-sonnet-18/ https://litpriest.com/poems/sonnet-18-summary/ https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/resources-for-educators/classroomoresources/media-and-interactives/media/literary-arts/shakespeares-sonnet-18/ https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/why-is-shakespeare-s-sonnet-18-sofamous-387045 https://www.britannica.com/art/volta-poetry Terms to explain from the essay : 1 : QUATRAIN : : A UNIT OR GROUP OF FOUR LINES OF VERSE. 2: A COUPLET IS A PAIR OF SUCCESSIVE LINES OF METRE IN POETRY. A COUPLET USUALLY CONSISTS OF TWO SUCCESSIVE LINES THAT RHYME AND HAVE THE SAME METRE. 3: IAMBIC PENTAMETER : A LINE OF VERSE WITH FIVE METRICAL FEET, EACH CONSISTING OF ONE SHORT (OR UNSTRESSED) SYLLABLE FOLLOWED BY ONE LONG (OR STRESSED) SYLLABLE, FOR EXAMPLE TWO HOUSEHOLDS, BOTH ALIKE IN D 4 : VOLTA, (ITALIAN: “TURN”) THE TURN IN THOUGHT IN A SONNET THAT IS OFTEN INDICATED BY SUCH INITIAL WORDS AS BUT, YET, OR AND YET. RELATED TOPICS: SONNET. Name: Description: ...
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