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Shall I compare thee to a summers day?

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Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Shall I compare thee to a summer's day is a sonnet written by William Shakespeare in the late 16th century. It is a fascinating sonnet that compares the beauty of the beloved to a summer day, concluding that the beloved's beauty is better and at the same time explores the idea of immortality. The sonnet follows the typical sonnet structure, that being fourteen lines which are divided intro three quatrains and a rhyming couplet at the end. It also follows a rhyme pattern of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. The first quatrain explores the idea that the beloved is preferable than a summer day, '"Thou art more lovely and more temperate" (Line 2); Shakespeare is clearly stating the beloved is far better than a summer day. ...read more.


The following lines have a negative tone which suggest death, "And every fair from fair sometime declines, / By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed" (Line 7-8), the poet suggests everything fades with time; it is the way nature behaves. He is suggesting one of the main problems with summer is that quickly ends. In the final quatrain Shakespeare explores the idea that the summer of the beloved is better than nature's summer. "But thy eternal summer shall not shade" (Line 9), Shakespeare is contrasting the eternal summer of the beloved which is infinite and will never finish to nature's summer which will finish as previously stated. ...read more.


In the final rhyming couplet Shakespeare puts forward the idea that the sonnet will remain, "So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, /So long lives this, and this gives life to thee." (Line 13-14). The idea of remembering the beloved by the eternal life of the sonnet is suggested. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day is both a love and death sonnet, as both ideas are strongly suggested. Shakespeare wanted to express the importance and value of literature, such as sonnets as they remain forever; he accomplishes this using the beloved of an example of someone's beauty, which will remain through the sonnet. The reader is drawn to this sonnet as it explores de idea of death vs. nature, and finally Shakespeare suggests death can be defeated and we can achieve immortality through literature. ...read more.

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