Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day/Do Not Go Gentle in to That Good Night Comparison Essay

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Charlotte Mays
Colorado Technical University Online
Jordine Logan
December 10, 2012

Poetry is a beautiful thing. It allows us to visualize the picture in which the author is trying to paint. Take Shakespeare’s, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” and Thomas’s, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.” Sometimes the canvas may appear dark and gloomy and other times it may portray a beautiful array of sunshine. In the poem, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” imagery is used frequently through the graphic description of the woman’s beauty compared to the radiance of summer. I can almost hear the wind blowing so roughly as to somewhat disfigure the budding blossoms and feel the piercing sun as it occasionally hides behind the clouds. Shakespeare uses personification, bringing the heavens, winds, and even death to life. The winds take on the image of hands shaking the buds, the heavens portray a face with eyes and a golden complexion, and death becomes a boastful figure. The speaker makes use of a simile to compare his love to a summer’s day, which is followed by the complaint, “And summer’s lease hath all too short a date,” [ (Shakespeare, 2012) ] which metaphorically suggest that beauty is only temporary and all good things must come to pass.

The theme indicates love and beauty. In the beginning he compares his friend to summer; suddenly, he describes him/her as summer, “But thy eternal summer shall not fade” (Shakespeare, p. 487). It is as if the person he is speaking of has transformed to the degree in which true beauty is measured. The setting of this piece takes place in the 17th century. Therefore, the language is old English, which is considered to be formal and complex. Shakespeare’s tone is stylishly romantic and creates, for the reader, a warm and touching atmosphere. By reading the poem aloud and listening to the sounds, I was better able to determine its format. For example, this specific piece has 14 lines (3...
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