Sonnet 18 Essay

961 words - 4 pages

Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18” is simply a statement of praise about the beauty of the beloved girl; summer tends to unpleasant extremes of windiness and heat but the beloved woman is more lovely and temperate. Shakespeare deliberately chose nature to compare with love because nature is a lovely creation by God. Shakespeare uses a wide range of literary devices, such as personification, metaphysical conceits, anaphora, tone, imagery, and has recurring themes as well as motifs, to illustrate his darling’s comparison to a summer’s day.
Some literary devices used are personification, metaphors, and similes. To begin with, Shakespeare sets up a contrast between the beloved and a summer’s day. He argues that his cherished, contrasting nature, will be saved by the force and stability of his poetry. For instance he personifies nature by saying “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” (3) meaning that if winds are able to "shake" things, buds could be described as "darling," these are both words more often pragmatic to human actions. In addition, “And summer’s lease hath all too short a date” in line 4 personifies summer because it can’t literally take out a lease on anything. Also the buds are a metaphor of the beginning of a new life. This shows how tranquil is the girl in comparison to the “rough winds” (3) of the summer. Moreover, the sun is described through the metaphor “the eye of heaven” (5), showing that even something as powerful as the sun will shadow the earth unlike his lover’s beauty. This shadow which he calls a “complexion” shows that when the sun fades over the buds, they won’t flourish, for plants need sunshine. However, in line 9, the personification is inverted; instead of relating nature in human terms, Shakespeare is describing the beloved in the terms of nature, giving her an "eternal summer" which could not accurately apply. To add to it, "shade" in line 11 makes for a continuation of the extended metaphor, since plants stuck in the shade, that’s then it won’t get sunlight. The metaphor is completed in line 12 as he points out that the plants grow against all problems faced. “Lines to time” (12) illustrates in other words that plants need to be organized and refined by humans in order to endure. These examples made concerning summer, show that it does not last forever, yet her beauty will last.
Metaphysical conceits in this poem were used in order to familiarize the reader’s mind the imagery of feeling that he wishes to express for his subject. While it has a positive connotation with it being lovely and picturesque, it also has a negative connotation where the “rough winds” blow, the days are too hot, and it ends quickly. This comparison between a person and the summer’s day is interpreted that summertime could also...

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