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Analysis of Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

Autor:   •  January 26, 2014  •  Essay  •  437 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,777 Views

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The Sonnet 18 written by William Shakespeare compares an unknown person (probably a woman) to a day in summer. The Structure and meter of this sonnet are the typical for a shakespearean sonnet. It contains 3 quatrains with its alternate rhymes and an end rhyme with its couplet at the end. It’s written in iambic pentameter.

In the beginning the speaker directly speaks to the addressee. The pronouns “thee” and “thou” make that clear. Indeed the speaker asks the addressee for comparing her to a summer’s day before he actually begins to do it. It seems Shakespeare kind of interconnects the topic or the headline with the sonnet itself. In the second line the speaker starts to describe the addressee as more “lovely” and “temperate” as a summer’s day. The colon at the end of that line implicates that motivations for this claim are following and so they do in the next five lines.

Instead of describing the beauty and joy of the summer as it is the common way, he depicts the more negative sides. “The rough winds..” mentioned in line 3 are not rough for humans but for the “darling buds of may”. The summer’s lease” characterizes the time limitation of this time of the year. In line 4 the metaphor “eye of heaven” , which stands obviously for the sun, is criticized for its too hot shining sometimes. He mentions the summer’s unsteadiness and its dependency on nature. Line 8 ends again with a colon. Now the description of the summer has come to an end and what follows in the next lines is the confrontation and differentiation of the summer’s attributes towards the addressee. The word “But” in line 9 marks that progress.

The speaker talks about the “eternal summer” of the addressee and means that it will last forever and even death can’t end it. The “eternal summer” stands for the soul and the vitality. An anaphora in line 10 and 11 emphasizes the speaker’s persuasion.

Before ending the sonnet


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