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Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

William Shakespeare

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Lines 7-8
Added by: Richard
I have heard opposing views about lines 7-8. Some say that the "fairs" are women who don't stay beautiful, but I think it is the beauty of nature that 'declines' as fall approaches. Just to throw this out there.
Added by: Abbygail
The poet introduces an unchanging beauty, likened to summer, which dims in comparison to the beauty of the youth. He gives a glimse of the youth's 'summer', his beauty, and we are to be left in awe of someone so undeniably beautiful. The youth's beauty is frozen in the framework of the poem and is immortalized as it is etched in the lines of appreciation.

The sestet facilitates a slowing of pace, showing a deeper level of appreciation and death is stripped of all power to capture the youth's beauty. The rhyming couplet shows that the appreciation has risen to rapture.

To Richard: I agree that "fair" in this poem refers to the beauty of nature, but moreso the external beauty of all 'things'(for want of a a better word) that sometimes decline.

To Kon: It is suggested that Shakespeare's sonnets 1 through 27 were expressions of admiration for a young male who was 'in his sights'. The importance of this poem is not its address but its underlying meaning, remember that this poem was not intended for us to read it and therefore we really have no right to criticize. Shakespeare gives a fresh, 'beautiful' picture that we all should try to appreciate.
Added by: miss H
Shall I Compare Thee To A Summers Day?
This poem must have had a date
T'was written round in shakespeares day,
Rough winds do shake this girl's brain so grey
And now she needs to know the date
On which the poem was writ
I'm done now. Do you know it?
who is as temperate as a rose?
Added by: Matt A K
this is in response to an earlier posting claiming this and sonnets I - XXVII were all being written to some "fair youth" by Shake-speare to win some boys affection.

Mr. Hasti-Vibrans himself actually did write these for a young man. The Earl of Southampton. I could suggest what their relationship is but if you would find it hard to believe. Especially hard to believe if you still think Mr. Erudite Shaxpere of Stratford-of-Avon is Shake-speare himself. (yes i am challenging you to think outside the box and ANALYZE just who shake-speare is)

thank you for your time, i have other crusades to fight. remember, some people still think the earth is flat.

ps hasti-vibrans is latin for (shake-speare) and there is actually an english nobleman that lived during the elizabethian era that had a lion shaking a spear in his crest. think i am humoring you? look up Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.
Added by: Jim
I think that Shakespeare is desiring to have slow, erotic intercourse with the beauty. He wants to sink his dick INTO her warm pussy.
Added by: basheer
i think that what miss dont know who mentioned about youth fair affiction is the right thing about this poem

and what she says about sonnets 1-28 is checked and confermed.
What is fair?
Added by: Maddy
I think that the term 'fair' in the line 'And every fair FROM fair sometime declines' can be read as being used in the same personified way as the way in which the word 'Beauty' is often used eg 'And Beauty FROM its beautiful state sometime declines, by chance or by natures changing course setting it out of its perfect state.

Or - 'Everything that is fair FROM its fairness sometime declines...'

It is far broader in meaning than just Nature, or just Fair Women. It subtlely extends the concept of Summer's beauty to embrace both the beauty of Nature in general and of beautiful women in particular.

Trimming probably has to do with making a thing right, straight or balanced, not in the sense of decorating as one trims a hat with ribbon, but the writer may well have had both meanings in mind.
Added by: Tricia
This is a very beautiful sonnet! Shakespeare is writing to a woman about her outer and inner beauties, and how he sees her. He compares her to the elements of nature, which I think is wonderfully done!
to miss H...if it's not too late
Added by: J.C.
It's written in 1609
Added by: Etelle
I think the poet is speaking only about his beloved's inner beauty.

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