Analyzing Sonnet 18

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“Shall I compare thee to …” You can finish that sentence in your head can’t you? Whether you are a strong poetry enthusiast or not, you still probably know this famous poem. Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare is one of the most well-known poems of all time. Time and time again this piece of art has influenced contemporary pieces. Some examples of this would be; the song “Sonnet 18” by Pink Floyd, a novel titled The Darling Buds of May by H E Bates, and a famous essay “Rough Winds Do Shake” written by Maeve Landman. Now this doesn’t not include the endless, countless list of times when Sonnet 18 has been quoted throughout history, especially in today’s media such as Star Trek, Doctor Who, and many others. It is doubtless to say that Sonnet…show more content…
To take a look at the examples of metaphor being used, we must return to the beginning. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? (“Shakespeare”)” looking at the first line of the poem, you know a comparison will be made. The definition of a metaphor is, “a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity (“Metaphor”).” The entire poem is about Shakespeare comparing his beloved to a day in the summer. However, the metaphor is never completed because in every way he goes to compare the two, the summer’s day always falls short. He keeps going through the ways that it fails in comparison to whom he is speaking to until the entire poem just ends up one big dissing on summer. If we take a look at lines 7-9, “And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade, (“Shakespeare”).”
We see that he is talking about how everything that is beautiful will always fade. Just as summer must always change to fall such as is “nature’s changing course”, human beauty will fade with time too, but not his love’s! Her beauty is an eternal summer. It will never fade or dim, her beauty is infinite, he immortalizes it. Shakespeare emphasizes this point in the lines 11 and 12,
“Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his
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