Essay about Sonnet 18 By William Shakespeare

762 Words Jul 19th, 2015 4 Pages
Sonnet 18, often alternately titled Shall I compare thee to a summer 's day?, is one of the best-known of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. Part of the Fair Youth sequence, it is the first of the cycle after the opening sequence now described as the Procreation sonnets.
In the sonnet, the speaker compares his beloved to the summer season, and argues that his beloved is better. He also states that his beloved will live on forever through the words of the poem. Scholars have found parallels within the poem to Ovid 's Tristia and Amores, both of which have love themes. Sonnet 18 is written in the typical Shakespearean sonnet form, having 14 lines of iambic pentameter ending in a rhymed couplet. Detailed exegeses have revealed several double meanings within the poem, giving it a greater depth of interpretation.
The poem starts with a flattering question to the beloved—"Shall I compare thee to a summer 's day?" The beloved is both "more lovely and more temperate" than a summer 's day. The speaker lists some negative things about summer: it is short—"summer 's lease hath all too short a date"—and sometimes the sun is too hot—"Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines." However, the beloved has beauty that will last forever, unlike the fleeting beauty of a summer 's day. By putting his love 's beauty into the form of poetry, the poet is preserving it forever. "So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this,…

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