Poetry Analysis of Sonnet 18

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Poetry Analysis of William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 William Shakespeare is often thought of as the greatest writer in the history of the English language. Out of his several sonnets, Sonnet 18, also known as Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day, seems to be very well-known and well enjoyed. The form of a sonnet contains 14 lines, and in this particular one, 14 lines of intense poetry. Do not be fooled by its length, there is a lot happening and each line contains meaning to be interpreted. Through analyzing various poetic devices, their effects on the poem will be determined. Shakespeare starts his poem with a rhetorical question, which causes the reader to predict the theme that the rest of the poem will bring. What’s expected is a charming comparison of something to the beauty of summer. That something could be his beloved, a companion, something in nature, or anything else he thought was beautiful. However, instead of using similes, he answers his prior question stating he cannot compare the two because “thou” is that much better. Then, again, writing the opposite of what is expected, instead of stating why “thou” is “more lovely and more temperate”, Shakespeare states all the terrible things summer brings. He even pronounces summer, in a way, violent by ruining the prior season’s beauty. He uses metaphors and imagery, such as “too hot the eye of heaven shines” to further show the negative things summer hides. In the first three lines, Shakespeare presents the theme of contrast between “thou” and summer. He then enhances the theme by writing the opposite of what the reader expects. The next theme presented is the contrast between impermanence and immortality, first brought up in line four. The author uses a metaphor which means that even if summer were so great, it still passes and then it is onto fall and winter. Summer does not last forever but he

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