Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day

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Shall I Compare Thee To a Summer’s Day?

William Shakespeare

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 oft’ is his gold complexion dimm’d;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d:

But thy eternal Summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;

Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou growest:

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” is a classic poem by the legendary William Shakespeare. This poem is his eighteenth sonnet, and perhaps the most well-known out of all Shakespeare’s fifty four sonnets. With the renowned writing style and techniques, Shakespeare has made the meaning of this love poem so intriguing. The chosen subject matter, describing the theme of love has created a remarkable longevity for this poem until these days. The content mentioned above, along with the context, tone and an array of literary devices will be analyzed thoroughly in this essay.

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. Hypothetically, the personal context of this poem is Shakespeare falling in love with a remarkably attractive woman. Through the comparison of this woman’s good looks with the nature of “a summer’s day”, the subject matter appears to be Shakespeare being truly infatuated by the loveliness of this lady. The theme suggested is the eternal love and beauty. Due to the historical context being in the 17th century, the language of this poem is old...
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