This sonnet claims that the Dark Lady is more beautiful than the summer’s day and is also as immortal as Shakespeare’s sonnet. The best Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? The next quatrain brings a few more flaws in the summer season. He claims that his beloved is lovelier than summer. Very good analysis! © document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); Lit Priest. It’s great to see the future generation carrying on the ‘Shakespeare Flu.’. Hypothetically, the personal context of this poem is Shakespeare falling in love with a remarkably attractive woman. Similarly, the sunshine is sometimes very faint, and the weather gets cold. On this basis, these sonnets are divided into two portions. In terms of imagery, the reference to Death bragging ‘thou wander’st in his shade’, as well as calling up the words from the 23rd Psalm (‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death’), also fits neatly into the poem’s broader use of summer/sun imagery. Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st, a long thread would mean a long life, and a short thread would mean you’d be cut down in your prime. While summer is short and occasionally too hot, his beloved has a beauty that is everlasting, and that will never be uncomfortable to gaze upon. Then it’s followed by the complaint of summer passes too quickly, which metaphorically suggests that all beauty is only temporary, all pleasant thing must come to an end at some point. ( Log Out /  It is very short-lived. LitPriest is a free resource of high-quality study guides and notes for students of English literature. ... Theme. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. This sonnet belongs to the first part of the sonnet collection and is, therefore, considered to be addressed to the beloved male. The speaker tells him that there are a few downsides to the beauty of summer, but his beauty is flawless. He goes on to remark that the young man is lovelier, and more gentle and dependably constant. We cannot be sure who arranged the sonnets into the order in which they were printed in 1609 (in the first full printing of the poems, featuring that enigmatic dedication to ‘Mr W. H.’), but it is suggestive that Sonnet 18, in which Shakespeare proudly announces his intention of immortalising the Fair Youth with his pen, follows a series of sonnets in which Shakespeare’s pen had urged the Fair Youth to marry and sire offspring as his one chance of immortality. Thus, through the words, his beloved’s beauty will also live on. The imagery has expressed entirely the subject matter and theme of this romantic sonnet. Nature makes every person more beautiful and mindful. The hyperbole also refers to the longevity of this poem: as long as there are people still alive to read poems this sonnet will live, and you will live in it. The beauty of every beautiful thing decreases and is spoiled accidentally or naturally. Every beautiful thing ceases to exist and turns into dust once the time of death arrives. In summer the stormy winds weaken the charming rosebuds and the prospect of renewed health or happiness lasts for a … @vanessa… although it was indeed about a man, the themes of immortality remain and it does not subtract from the general understanding. If you’re studying Shakespeare’s sonnets and looking for a detailed and helpful guide to the poems, we recommend Stephen Booth’s hugely informative edition, Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Yale Nota Bene). “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” is one of his most beautiful pieces of poetry. Create a free website or blog at eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'litpriest_com-banner-1','ezslot_3',105,'0','0']));Similarly, the speaker mentions how every fair thing is destined to lose its fairness in its interaction with natural cycles. The remaining two lines of the quatrain address the problem of mortality. It is obvious that Shakespeare worships human beauty, but Wordsworth indicates in an invisible way that nature is like a living creature, which will exist forever. | The speaker, however, promises his beloved to protect him from such a future by immortalizing him in his poetry. It seems that nature does not bring so much joy to the narrator, because winds are rough, and they disturb “the darling buds of May”. Historically, the theme of summertime has always been used to evoke a certain amount of beauty, particularly in poetry. I think the mark of a great poem is one that sparks debate and varying interpretations. ‘When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st’: it’s worth observing the suggestion of self-referentiality here, with ‘lines’ summoning the lines of Shakespeare’s verse. Shakespeare presents summer, but there are no bright colors in the plot. He says that as long as human life exists on this earth, his lines will be read. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” is a classic poem by the legendary William Shakespeare. Although much is known about his life, scholars are still uncertain as to whether or not Shakespeare actually authored his works, and convincing arguments exist on both sides. (function(e,c){e.innerHTML=Object.values(c).join('');})(document.getElementById('e76cc922'), {"7":"6","1":"1","9":"2","6":")","13":"1","4":"8","10":" ","11":"2","0":"+","12":"5","3":"8","5":"8","14":"0","2":"(","8":"4"}); (function(e,c){e.innerHTML=Object.values(c).join('');})(document.getElementById('e62405f9'), {"5":"8","1":"1","14":"0","11":"2","7":"3","12":"7","13":"4","8":"6","10":"-","3":"8","4":"8","6":")","2":"(","0":"+","9":"9"}); © 2020 In this post, we’re going to look beyond that opening line, and the poem’s reputation, and attempt a short summary and analysis of Sonnet 18 in terms of its language, meaning, and themes. Here, the speaker uses the metaphor “his gold complexion” to refer to sunshine. Not only does Shakespeare believe that immortality exist through the beauty, it also stays in his poem. The speaker says that the harsh winds shake the darling buds during May. The title “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” partially conveys the theme of the appreciation of beauty, and the sense of falling in love. The fifth and sixth lines have brilliant personifications of the sun as “the eyes of heaven” and “his golden complexion”. Shall I compare you to a summer's day? you are amazing and you helped me to get a much better understanding. It’s the first poem that doesn’t exhort the Fair Youth to marry and have children: we’ve left the ‘Procreation Sonnets’ behind. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” is one of his most beautiful pieces of poetry. Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. Have you done sonnet 129?