Shall I Compare Thee to a Summers Day, Analsis

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Sonnet, Shakespeare's sonnets Pages: 4 (1236 words) Published: January 3, 2014


Literary Analysis
Shall I Compare Thee to Summers Day?

In analyzing Sonnet 18, Shall I Compare Thee to Summers Day?, written by William Shakespeare it is important to know some of the background information on this poet and playwright. He wrote a hundred and fifty four sonnets, that cover three major themes: 1. how short every life is, 2. that beauty will always fade because it is not everlasting, and 3. the weaknesses of humans to give into earthy temptations. Most scholars refer to the first sequence of sonnets as the Fair Youth series and last few sonnets in the sequence are considered the Dark Lady collection. As a side note, it is interesting to know that when most people read this sonnet they assume that it is written towards a female, but most scholars concluded after extensive research that this sonnet and the others in the Fair Youth series were most likely written to a young male.

Sonnet 18 is considered by most to be Shakespeare's most famous sonnet. This may be true because Shakespeare makes reference to one of his most famous plays Romeo and Juliet. He does this through his diction. In Romeo and Juliet, one of the lines Shakespeare uses to say how beautiful and how lucky he is to have Juliet is, “Shall I compare thee to a rose”. We notice this the same overlapping word choice in Shall I Compare Thee to a Summers Day, because in the first line of the sonnet Shakespeare says, “shall I compare thee to a summers day”. Shakespeare probably uses the comparison between the rose and the summers day to relate to a more general range of people. A writer chooses ordinary everyday objects that most people are familiar with so they have an easier time making a connection with what the writer is trying to convey. Shakespeare uses these literary devices to relate to things people know like nature and things people find lovely.

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