SONNET 18, SHALL I COMPARE THEE TO A SUMMER’S DLAY?—WILLIAMS SHAKESPEARE: POET BACKGROUND, PLOT ACCOUNT, THEMES, LITERARY DEVICES USED IN THE POEM.
POET BACKGROUND: The poem was written by Williams Shakespeare. He born on 23rd April, 1564 in Stratford On-Avon. John, Shakespeare’s father was an alderman and a bailiff. Shakespeare was educated at a local school and never attended University. He invested substantially in Stratford real estate and he led the life of a prominent and respected citizen. He died on 23rd April, 1616 and was buried in the local churclh. Seven years after his death his fellow actors collected and published thirty-six of the plays in one large volume.
His sonnet were published in 1609. He wrote 154 sonnets, all suggested a ‘’story’’. The first 126 sonnets were addressed mainly to a young man of great beauty and promise. The speaker in this poem express his affection and administration for the young man; urged him to marry and have children. The speaker warned the main about the destructive power of time, age and moral weakness.
PLOT ACCOUNT: William Shakespeare in this poem discussed the issue of marriage. It was an instruction to a young man to marry without wasting time. The poet developed interest in the man and compared him with summer day.
‘’Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate…
The speaker warned of the danger involved in postponing an important thing like marriage. If marriage is not consumed at the right time, it may never happen again.
‘’And summer’s lease hath all too short a date,
……An every fair from fair sometimes declines’’ lines 3-7.
THEMES FROM THE POEM:
LOVE/AFFECTION: The speaker had affection for his friend and expressed it openly. ‘’Thou art more lovely and more temperate’’
CHANGE OF LIFE: Nothing in this world is permanent. There is always time for everything. One must take decision to avoid missing an opportunity.
..’’Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his good complexion dimmed’’.
VITORY/SUCCESS: The speaker believed that the man would triumph over everything that might come in his way.
…..’’Nor lose possession of that fair thou ownest,
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade…’’
LITERARY TERMS USED IN THE POEM:
RHETORIC: The poet used rhetorical question to emphasize the love he had for the person or man he addressed . ‘’Shall I Comapre thee to a Summer’s day?
REPETITION: The word ‘So long’’ was repeated twice to make a solid ground for the man he addressed.
PERSONIFICATION: ‘’Heaven’’ is personified as possessing eye. The eye is said to shine forever.
ALLEGORY: The word ‘’summer’’ as used in the poem symbolizes love. Summer period is a time people go out for holiday, love, care, affection. The poet wanted the man he addressed to go out and make his choice.