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

William Shakespeare

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myth of Shakespeare
Added by: Booba the Scooba
You would think Shakespeare lived in fuckin pre-historic times for all the conjecture...people did know "him", the young actor, playwright, landowner, theater co-owner, people such as Chrisopher Marlowe, and there are many primary documents supporting the basic picture we have of his life. Or maybe you think, like an Iraqi professor, that Shakespeare was actually an arab sailor who washed up on the shores of England, only because he thinks an Englishman could not have produced so many fine works, only an arab could do that.
eternal beauty......
Added by: sad_dreamer
the sonnet talks about the beauty that shakespeare has seen.... a beauty that he compares to the summer's day..... and he perfectly immortalized it through his stylistic writing.......
Added by: cosmin jinariu
I think that the verse that says "Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines" is nothing more than a "post card" from heaven. Here, the author is very surprised by the God's power in creation and His presence in the creation that is overall a surce of inspiration. The words can't describe totally the heat of the sun and that's why is more "temperate". you can't feel the heat and you can't see the shinie sun but is a wonderful picture captured in a very original style of writing.
That's my contribution to this sonnet.
Added by: stephany
I think that this is one of the best poems i have read in long time. It is very true "But thy eternal summer shall not fade" It's a good poem.
did u know...
Added by: tina
i just wanted to shoot this quick one out here... even though the poem itself describes a woman and his love for her, sonnets 1 - 126 were written for a young ''male friend'' and sonnets 127 - 152 were for his mistress (the Dark Lady)

just thought i'd add that in here
Added by: black
I think that in the poem he is comparing a women he loves to many things like a summers day,rough winds, golden sun,and many more things it is a really good poem and i enjoyed it.
Putting this poem into its context
Added by: Rory
I think one of the problems with some of these comments is that people haven't looked at it in the original context of a sonnet sequence. Shakespeare's Sonnets (the original title) were published in 1609 and the evidence suggests that Shakespeare himself had them published. You need to read this sonnet as part of that sequence, and also to look at some other sonnet sequences of the late 16C. To begin with, the addressee of this poem is almost certainly a male youth (htough the sex is not specifically given in this sonnet) since the surrounding sonnets make this clear. Also it is not so much a reflection on the youth's beauty which we are explicitly told will fade (every fair from fair sometomes declines) as it is a rather boastful announdcement of the poet's ability to give the youth immortality. The point about most sonnets (not just Shakespeare's) is that they are not about love but about poetic skill. Love for the addressee is merely a tool to show off the poet's skill in describing the variations of love. It is irrelevant whether there is any biographical basis for the poems - they are about striking a pose - Look at how wondefully I can write about love. It might be worth noting that sonnets became fashionbale under the reign of Queen Elizabeth and those sequences had (usually) a female addressee. Shakespeare is publishing when James 1 is on the throne - surprise he has a male addressee for the majority of his sequence (though not he last 28 sonnets). Maybe sonnets are more about power relationships and structures, thought they use the metaphor of love to play this out. The 28 sonnets (same number as the menstrual cycle) to his dark mistress at the end are astonishingly misogynistic.
bla bla bla
Added by: nee
shakespeare is the most overrated poet of all time, and this poem is not brilliant at all. if it was written by anyone else, everyone would be saying how drab and dull and just plain old talentless it is. i'm sacreligious? so kill me. go read anne sexton. at least she's actually GOOD.
2 last lines
Added by: KOSTER
Perhaps some are fed up with William but we must admit that he is a true wordsmith, mostly unrivalled. Some are still having their "salad days". Anyway, I value very much the 2 final lines for their masterly musical rhythm. Pronounce them, and pronounce them all over again. It grows on you!
Added by: jd
I believe that summer symbolises love, not beauty.

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