Sonnet 18

Topics: Love, Shakespeare's sonnets, Eye Pages: 2 (711 words) Published: December 8, 2010
Explication of “A Summer’s Day”

Shakespeare establishes his theme by shifting procreational beauty to the idea of immortalized beauty. Shakespeare's use of personification, literal meanings, and metaphors enables him to illustrate his compassion in the idea of immortality.

In Sonnet 18 Shakespeare uses personification heavily in giving objects human qualities to reflect establish mortality in his muse. Doing so, helps the reader relate to the object to life and death. The first instance of personification is in the first quatrain , Shakespeare writes, “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,” meaning “Winds choke the lovely buds with hands of May”. On the first quatrain Shakespeare writes, “And Summer’s lease hath all too short a date:”(4). In this line Shakespeare is referring to Summer being too short. By this personification on the first quatrain, Shakespeare conveys the depth of his affection towards his love interest by giving a descriptive metaphor about his beloved comparing her to something intangible as a “Summer day” or “Lovely buds” being more beautiful than nature. He creates a life in words with the personification. In the second quatrain, Shakespeare writes, “Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,”(5). He uses the reference of “Eye of heaven” to convey the idea of the sky being a face with the sun becoming the eye. On the next line Shakespeare writes, “And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;”(6). In this line Shakespeare describes how clouds often go behind clouds. In this line Shakespeare illustrates how intense his love for his beloved yet, nature can get in the way of love such as clouds or mortality.

In Sonnet 18, those whom are unfamiliar with the writing of Shakespeare may think or feel they have to decipher what they’re reading. In some instances this is true, but not for all. This is where literal meanings play an important role in understanding some important ideas. In the second quatrain, Shakespeare...
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