How Does Shakespeare Present the Realities of Love in Sonnets 18 and 130

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How does Shakespeare present the realities of love in Sonnet 18? On the surface, in Sonnet 18, Shakespeare expresses his everlasting love for a beautiful, goddess-like woman. However, there is a deeper, underlying meaning in sonnet 18 when analyzed. Sonnet 18 observes the significance of how the way someone looks physically, which could be perceived as superficial. For instance, in line 10, Shakespeare says, “Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest”, which implies that it is important that she retains her beauty. Shakespeare, by associating her with images of nature makes her seem perfect and pure, because something natural is untouched, “Nature’s changing course”. But, like nature, the woman’s beauty can be dangerous, “Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines”, which alludes that her beauty and love can also be overwhelming, identifying the perils of beauty and youth. Shakespeare also acknowledges how it is inevitable for a physical change to occur as she ages, this can be understood from, “And every fair from fair sometimes declines”. This shows us, that Shakespeare, unlike so many renaissance writers, isn’t a complete romantic and idealist when it comes to love; he is realistic and pragmatic. However, he goes on to suggest that unlike her physical appearance, her happy disposition will not fade and she will remain beautiful to him, “but thy eternal summer shall not fade”. Emphasizing the importance of falling in love with somebody’s character, which will not fade, in contrast to their appearance. Shakespeare never actually describes his beloved, he instead compares her to classically beautiful images, like summer, heaven and calls her fair. This could imply that she wasn’t physically ‘perfect’ but it was instead her personality that reminded him of a summer’s day. Which suggests that physical beauty loses its desirability as you age, and it is
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