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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Poem Analysis,Subject Summarisation And Explanation : 'Shall I Compare Thee' by William Shakespeare

About The Poem

(Credit : Wikipedia)

Sonnet 18, often alternatively 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 (which comprises sonnets 1–126 in the accepted numbering stemming from the first edition in 1609), 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.

Read on to find the complete analysis of the poem.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? (Sonnet 18)

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616

(Credit : Source)

 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 wand’rest 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.

Poem Analysis,Summarisation And Explanation

The poem is written in the Petrarchan sonnet form with a rhyming scheme of abab cdcd efefgg.The first stanza brings in front of the reader the poet's attempt to compare a bright,young man to a lovely summer's day.But it also brings into notice the poet's dilemma in doing so since the young man is described to be,in the second line to be "more temperaate and lovely" - to be of a softer nature than a glaring summer's day ; though just as bright and as inciting.

The poet then goes on to describe his existence,which is practically quite a long path but since his existence itself is considered a pleasure,it proves to be relatively like a short summer season that shakes the darling buds if May to the poet.It is sincerely dramatic to include this proposition right in the first stanza but makes the poem all the more interesting down the lane.
In the second stanza,the poet describes how in the course of hard times is golden complexion ; his beautiful appearance is dimmed and how sometimes under nature's changing seasons and prolonged journey through time lessens his external fairness.
In the third stanza,i.e the sestet,the poet emphasises on the fire inside the young man.He clearly claims how this spirit inside him possesses eternal existence,that not even death will be able to take hold of the constant growth of the summer alive inside the young man.
That as long as the human race exists,as long as they continue to breathe,their eyes continue to see - until this truth ceases to be,the young man will live in this poem as creation passes on the incentives to his eternal soul.

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