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Shakespeare's Sonnet #18

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Eric Blackmon

on 27 November 2012

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Transcript of Shakespeare's Sonnet #18

Timeline Theme 2013 2009 2010 2011 2012 0 + - = 9 8 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 c Sonnet 18 Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. Sonnet #18 Paraphrased Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Shall I compare you to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate: You are more lovely and more constant:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, Rough winds shake the beloved buds of May
And summer's lease hath all too short a date: And summer is far too short:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, At times the sun is too hot,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; Or often goes behind the clouds;
And every fair from fair sometime declines, And everything beautiful sometime will lose its beauty,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd; By misfortune or by nature's planned out course.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade But your youth shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor will you lose the beauty that you possess;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, Nor will death claim you for his own,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest: Because in my eternal verse you will live forever.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long as there are people on this earth,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee. So long will this poem live on, making you immortal. The main theme of sonnet 18 is Love. This sonnet talks about the beauty of a young lady whom of which the speaker loves. Sonnet #18 Citations WriteWork contributors. "Contrasting Sonnets 18 and 116 by William Shakespeare. 'Shall I compare thee...' and 'Let me not.'" WriteWork.com. WriteWork.com, 28 November, 2004. Web. 25 Nov. 2012.
Mabillard, Amanda. An Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 18. Shakespeare Online. 2000. (day/month/year you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/18detail.html >.
Shakespeare, William Shakespeare. Shakespeare's Sonnets. N.p.: Ticknor and Fields, , 1865. 24. Harvard Unviersity. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. Analysis temperate (1): i.e., evenly-tempered; not overcome by passion.
the eye of heaven (5): i.e., the sun.

every fair from fair sometime declines (7): i.e., the beauty (fair) of everything beautiful (fair) will fade (declines).
Compare to Sonnet 116: "rosy lips and cheeks/Within his bending sickle's compass come."

nature's changing course (8): i.e., the natural changes age brings.

that fair thou ow'st (10): i.e., that beauty you possess.

in eternal lines...growest (12): The poet is using a grafting metaphor in this line. Grafting is a technique used to join parts from two plants with cords so that they grow as one. Thus the beloved becomes immortal, grafted to time with the poet's cords (his "eternal lines"). For commentary on whether this sonnet is really "one long exercise in self-glorification", please see below. RHYME SCHEME Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? A
Thou art more lovely and more temperate: B
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, A
And summer's lease hath all too short a date: B
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, C
And often is his gold complexion dimmed, D
And every fair from fair sometime declines, C
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed: D
But thy eternal summer shall not fade, E
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st, F
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade, E
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st, F
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, G
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. G Quotes "In 18 the poet would like to compare the beauty of his friend to the beauty of a day in summer." "Sonnet 18 is the best known and most well-loved of all 154 sonnets. It is also one of the most straightforward in language and intent. The stability of love and its power to immortalize the poetry and the subject of that poetry is the theme." "And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimm’d" (7-8)
"Here the poet makes the similarities even more clear. He’s stopped trying to differentiate between man and nature at all, and instead points toward their universal similarity: they’re both slaves to time."


Literary Terms This sonnet is an Iambic Pentameter.
Its Rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.
The form of this sonnet is also notable for being a perfect model of the Shakespearean sonnet form.


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