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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Understanding Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare


Introduction:
Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare is poem where the persona who is immensely in love with his beloved, deeply admires his love and compares her with summer. The comparison is done based on the beauty of summer’s day and its wonders.
However, the persona finds his belove being more beautiful than summer and its elements; the sun, flowers, nature’s movements, and the summer of his heart and life is and will be forever beautiful and warm.

Besides that his beloved’s beauty is eternal. Life is full of meaning to the persona as the beauty of his life remains forever. Even as summer fades, the love of his life will remain intact as long as people are alive to read and appreciate the beauty of his beloved in the poem.


Theme:
the theme of this poem is immortalising beauty and love which is reflected by the persona’s thoughts, ideas &; feelings, captured magically and embodied in the sonnet, revealing his beloved’s internal beauty which is everlasting as long as people kept on reading it with appreciation. 

Tone:
As we know, tone refers to the feelings, attitudes perceptions and experiences of the persona. Since in sonnet 18, the persona  feels deep admiration for his beloved as he compares two elements of nature: the season and his beloved, therefore he has high-spirits and he has a positive outlook on life. He believes his beloved is an eternal beauty and faces no death, as she is immortal through the poem. The persona is hopeful, happy and forward-looking.   

Moral values
The poem deals with eternal love and appreciation of a beautiful person.We learn to appreciate nature, as nature has both its strong and weak points.  The poem reminds us that there is nothing that would last forever. The beautiful person that is compared to summer is said to last forever, as long as men read and appreciate the poem. The poet teaches us to appreciate poetry to understand the messages that the poet wishes to convey to the readers.  The poem also teaches us to think about life and death. Life is a mystery to be lived, while death ends everything. But the beauty of the persona’s beloved lives forever and there is no death for her. The poem acts as a document of history which keeps the persona’s love alive over periods of time, and allows his beloved to live forever. She becomes immortal and her eternal summer lasts forever.
Using Language To Convey Language
The weaknesses of summer are shown through these phrases used by the poet in the poem:

     ‘shake the darling buds of May’
     ‘too short a date’
     ‘too hot the eyes of heaven shines’
     ‘gold complexion dimm’d’
     ‘fair from fair sometimes declines’
     ‘nature’s changing course, untrimm’d’

The beauty of his beloved is shown through these phrases used by the poet in the poem:

     ‘eternal summer shall not fade’
     ‘possession of that fair thou ows’t’
     ‘Death brag thou wand’rest in his shade’
     ‘eternal lines to time thou grow’st’
     ‘fair from fair sometimes declines’
     ‘nature’s changing course, untrimm’d’

In the last two lines (couplet), the poet reinforces the truth that his love will live through time and forever. This is possible, as long as people are alive and read the poem. The poem will be around forever to let the world know about her true eternal beauty, which surpasses summer many folds.

This can be noted in the couplet (Lines 13-14): 

     ‘men can breathe, or eyes can see’
     ‘lives this and this gives life to thee’

Personification
The poet makes the elements of nature behave like a person or have human qualities.  The sun is described as ‘the eye of heaven’ and the pronoun ‘his’ is used to show its gloominess ‘his gold complexion dimm’d’. The use of the word ‘complexion’ also relates to a person’s physical characteristic
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

nice :)

Anonymous said...

great :)