Sonnet 18 Research Paper

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Many feelings and underlying tones exist throughout one of William Shakespeare’s most infamous sonnets, Sonnet 18. The speaker opens the poem with a rhetorical question addressed to the beloved: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” (line 1). The speaker begins by asking whether he should or will compare "thee" to a summer’s day; although the question is “rhetorical”, it is, however, indirectly answered throughout the remaining parts of the poem. (SparkNote). The stability of love and its power to immortalize the poetry and the subject of that poetry is the theme. The speaker in the sonnet feels a sense of passionate love, immortality, and even a sense of joyous celebration throughout the poem.

In the sonnet, the speaker feels a strong and overwhelming sense of love towards the individual he is referring to. “Thou art more lovely and more temperate:” (line 2). This line suggests that the individual is more lovely, more constant, and that his youthful beauty is more perfect than a summer’s day; “more temperate” refers to consistency, and how days in summer are unpredictable, more violent, and less restrained. (Shakespeare’s Sonnets).

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 dimm’d;
(lines 3-6).

These lines suggest the negativity that occurs during a typical day in summer, and act as a support for the speaker’s reasons for why his lover is more temperate. “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,” suggests how the winds in summer can become so violent that they shake and ruin the beautiful flowers that are beginning to bloom in May. “And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:” uses “legal terminology” and compares the length of summer to a lease or contract that holds part of the year, but the lease is too short and has an early termination date. (Jamieson). “Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,” refers...
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