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18.5.13

Critical Appreciation of the sonnet no.18 Shall I compare thee to a summer's day



Critical Appreciation of the sonnet no.18 "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day":

This is one of best sonnets of Shakespeare. It is addressed to a young friend of the poet. Here the poet celebrates the beauty of his friend. The tradition of praising masculine beauty in verse was derived from Greek and Latin poetry and it became a fashion in English poetry after ‘The Renaissance’. The poet contrasts the ideal beauty of platonic conception embodied in his friend with the transient beauty of nature. The poet thinks that poetry is eternal and poetry will immortalize the beauty of his friend.
The sonnet shows a greatly enhanced sensibility and control. The rose metaphor is cleverly humanized in the phrase, “darling buds of May”. Summer’s lease adds concept of property so that it’s association with flowers seems inevitable. The eye of heaven introduces the correspondence between personality and the higher spheres with equal case. The eternal summer will be created by the poet’s eternal lines in his poems. Even death will not be able to make him its victim. The poet will celebrate the beauty of his friend in his writing. All future remain will read about him and thus the beauty of his friend will be eternal.

To His Love

(Sonnet no. 18)
by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date;

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd.

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:—

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

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