Sonnet 18 Research Paper

Topics: Poetry, Iambic pentameter, Sonnet Pages: 5 (1156 words) Published: April 11, 2015
Manpreet Singh
Mrs. Dumbleton
Sonnet 18
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 is one of his most popular sonnet ever to be written. Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 at first glance looks to be a love poem but is actually about the speaker glorifying himself. How does the speaker try to immortalize his love through poetry? The speaker states how beautifully unceasing his love is by comparing the love to a summer day. Then the speaker goes on to state how his loves beauty is everlasting unlike the summer. The speaker continues on to say how he will be able to immortalize his love by putting him in the poem. He believes his poetry is going to be read through history hence immortalizing his love. Instead of being about love its more so on the point of his own talent as a writer and his talent leading to the immortalization.

The sonnet has many themes that relate to the main reason the sonnet was written. Beauty is inferred to in the poem as the speakers love is compared to the summer which is also beautiful. The speaker says his the person he loves is everlastingly beautiful and how beauty fades away but the his loves beauty is always constant. The speaker starts to illustrate a picture in the readers mind that the love is a perfect being. This is another way he increases his glorification by showing how he can immortalize a great person in his writing. Another theme of this sonnet is immortality. "Shakespeare advocates seeking immortality through poetry rather than through procreation"(Sonnet 18). In the previous 17 sonnets the speaker is more focused on getting his love immortalized by procreation. In sonnet 18 his vision changes and he is more focused on immortalization by poetry.

The poem is a sonnet, a brief poem consisting of fourteen lines. Shakespeare sonnets have a rhyme of ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG and they also have three groups of four lines called quatrains and the two last lines are called couplets. "The speaker states, as long as people are alive to breathe and see (read)—the beloved will live because the sonnet gives life to a person long dead by the time later readers discover it"( Jankowski, Theodora A.). The breaks in the three quatrains and couplet allow the writer to change his/her view or tone. This sonnet was also written during the English Renaissance as many of his were.

The poem has a meter called iambic pentameter which is a rhyme scheme where each sonnet line has 10 syllables. The symbols are divided into five pairs called iambic feet were a strong syllable follows the unstressed syllable. In this sonnet every line has an end and the poem doesn’t flow as easily as it would other wise. The poem has a set ABAB rhyme and the couplets have GG. At the 9th line Shakespeare changes his focus and instead of talking about the summer and how it compares to the speakers love he talks about immortalizing his love.

There are many figures of speech in this sonnet. The first line is a rhetorical question which the speaker doesn’t want answered nor cares about. There are also many examples of personification through out the poem like in lines three and four. "Winds do shake" and "darling buds" are both examples of personification. "Summers lease" is also personification because leasing is an human qualities and nonliving things are incapable of doing this. The phrase "lines to time" are a metaphor because it comparing the lines of the poem to a time. The figures of speech help hid the meaning of the poem which is to show how great and talented of a writer the speaker is. The speaker also uses vocabulary that would suggest that the speaker is talking about his love like darling, eye of heaven, and golden complexion. The speaker also uses words to signify his familiarity with the lover like thou, thee, and thy. These word chooses the speaker makes amplifies the poem.

These sonnets were written during the English Renaissance like most of Shakespeare’s sonnets were. The renaissance was a time of rebirth...

Cited: Jankowski, Theodora A. "Sonnet 18." In Sauer, Michelle M. The Facts On File Companion to British Poetry before 1600. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008.Bloom 's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 9 Nov. 2014 .
Lord, Russell. "Sonnet 18."Masterplots II: Poetry, Revised Edition (2002): 1-2. LiteraryReference Center. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.
William Shakespeare "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer 's Day? (Sonnet 18) - Poem by William Shakespeare." Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer 's Day? (Sonnet 18) - Poem by William Shakespeare. Web. 9 Nov. 2014.
"Sonnet 18." Poetry for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski and Mary Ruby. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 1998. 221-233. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Nov. 2014.
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