Throughout the ages, poetry has been a way to express and show feelings toward another person. As poetry grew so did the complexity of the ways in which these feelings were expressed. They would keep expanding until poets started comparing their lover to God, which is known as Neo-Platonism. It is not shocking that poets have used this comparison to God in their pieces. It is seen throughout history man’s strive for unity with God. To achieve what is physically impossible to achieve, perfection. Two of the best poets at this style of writing were William Shakespeare and Edmund Spenser. In their sonnets “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” and “Some call you fair,” they use the neo-platonic ideas to describe how divine their lover is.
Shakespeare’s “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” opens by asking a question on whether he should compare the object of his affection to a summer’s day. By doing this the speaker makes the reader think about the qualities of summer. The qualities to first come in mind are usually all very good, as we picture a perfect summer day. The speaker then goes on to explain how his beloved is “more lovely and more temperate” than a summer’s day. By saying this, the speaker begins to show how his lover is above the perfection of nature. This compliment to her is followed by the many flaws of a summer’s day: the winds are too rough, summer is far too short, and the sun is either too hot or hidden behind the clouds. The speaker tops off the criticism about summer with a final blow. That either by misfortune or nature’s course, everything beautiful will eventually lose its beauty.
After completely shredding summer, it is clear that the speaker will no longer be comparing his love to a summer’s day. Shakespeare moves into the third quatrain with a series of powerful adorations. Revealing that “thy eternal summer” will never fade. Continuing upon this idea the speaker tells his sweetheart that the beauty...