Sonnet 18 Essay

500 WordsNov 26, 20142 Pages
William Shakespeare wrote plays that capture an extensive range of human conflict and passion. Although the works of Shakespeare have been known throughout the world and read in countless cities for more than 400 years, the personal history of William Shakespeare is somewhat cryptic. There are few sources that provide historians with an outline of his life, leaving his admirers curious about his background. One source—his 154 sonnets—is considered a wealth of knowledge for readers interested in understanding his personal life. Many researchers have made multiple interpretations about his life based solely on these poems. However, these only provide vague outlines of particular events in his life and specify little information about Shakespeare himself. Shakespeare begins Sonnet 18 by asking whether he should “compare [his love] to a summer’s day,” yet his poem seems to negate the comparison. Gradually, he gesticulates that even the “lovely” and “temperate” season of summer cannot compare to the beauty of his lover. Reasoning that summer has flaws his lover could never entertain, Shakespeare writes, “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, and summer’s lease hath all too short a date…” (3-6). Here, Shakespeare suggests everything beautiful tends to eventually fade away. When speaking about his lover, though, he makes it clear that his or her beauty will never fade, and that his love will always be alive through his writing. His lover will be eternal “as long as men can breathe or eyes can see” (13-14). Additionally, death will never be able to take him or her away from the speaker. His only sense of satisfaction about such overpowering affection is to guarantee that his lover is forever in the audience’s memory through his writing and saved from the forgetfulness that so often accompanies death. In Sonnet 18, Shakespeare tries to compare and contrast a

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