Shakespeare's Memorable 'Sonnet 18'

1234 Words5 Pages
English 200 Dr. Donna Johnson Shakespeare’s Memorable Sonnet Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day is one of Shakespeare’s most famous sonnets. Howard Moss’ revised version of Shakespeare’s sonnet shares the same message about the speaker’s lover being more beautiful than a summer’s day. It is because the poem is immortal that the beauty of the speaker’s lover is timeless. However, Shakespeare’s original sonnet is more memorable because of his use metaphors and personification, tone, and diction. Shakespeare’s uses of poetic devices portray the lover’s beauty and gentleness through vivid imagery that is unforgettable. Shakespeare’s Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day uses figures of speech, such as metaphors and personification, to help the reader understand that the speaker’s lover is more beautiful than the summer. The speaker personifies the sun as being the “eye of heaven,” which is “sometimes too hot and oft’ is his golden complexion dimm’d” (Line 5-6). The personification of the sun creates a tactile image; also, the image helps the reader to understand that the sun sometimes makes the summer uncomfortable and dimmed because of the clouds; furthermore, the speaker compares the sun to the lover as being “more lovely and more temperate” (Line 2). The speaker is saying that the lover is gentler and more tolerable than the harshness of a summer’s day. Moss’ version of the poem uses metaphors, but they are not as deep as Shakespeare’s. Shakespeare’s use of metaphors and personification in his sonnet, Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day, helps explain the tone shift. The metaphors, “Summer’s lease hath all too short to date” (Line 4) and “fair sometimes decline” (Line 7) show the speaker’s tone is negative towards the summer because it is too short and will soon lose its beauty. The speaker claims that the summer’s beauty declines when he says, “By
Open Document