Imagery in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18.
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Imagery in Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 It's amazing how authors can induce thoughts or create an impression by a single word. The ideas that can be formed in our mind by a small phrase are powerful. Only the most talented and capable authors can provoke such feelings within us. Who is more than able to stir these feelings in a reader but William Shakespeare? His various plays keep us entranced and curious but it is his sonnets that strike a chord deep within us. Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare is particularly powerful. He writes about a love that cannot be compared to anything in the world because of his deep infatuation. Sonnet 18 is part of a group of 126 sonnets Shakespeare wrote that are addressed to a young man of great beauty and promise. Sonnet 18 focuses on the beauty of the young man and how beauty fades, but his beauty will not because everyone that reads the poem will remember it.
In line five the poet states, "Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines". Shakespeare uses "the eye of heaven" as a metaphor in this line to describe the sun. The poet means to imply that a summer's day might have violent accesses in store but the youth is free from all these flaws. In line six Shakespeare again uses the sun image and states, "And often is his gold complexion dimmed". He uses the phrase "gold complexion dimmed' to describe the sun again which means that sometimes the sun is not hot enough and it is dimmed with clouds on overcast days. In the next line the poet says," And every fair from fair sometimes declines/By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed". All beautiful things (every fair) occasionally become inferior in comparison with their essential previous state of beauty (from fair). They all decline from perfection. The poet is showing that every thing becomes less beautiful when left to chance and time.
The youth will live as long as these verses live, celebrating him and continually renewing his life and thereby making him everlasting. Shakespeare uses all these imagery to emphasize the overall theme of the poem. The sonnet also works at a rather curious level of achieving its objective through dispraise. The summer's day is found to be lacking in so many respects(too short, too rough), but curiously enough one is left with the abiding impression that the lovely youth is in fact like a summers day at its best, fair, warm, sunny, temperate and all his beauty has been wonderfully highlighted by the comparisons. The scenes that Shakespeare throws at us give us idea of beauty and disappointment. He takes us from a place of pleasure to distaste. He makes us go in one direction then turns us round and causes us to go in a three sixty degree turn. The ride we are taken on is an enjoyable one that makes the sonnet unforgettable which is only done through the explicit images that allow our own ideas to form.
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