Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Author: William Shakespeare By: Katherine Lawlor
Shakespearean Sonnet Yellow = Imagery Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling budsof May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date. Sometimestoo hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed; And every fair from fair sometimes declines By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed; But thy eternal summer shall not fade Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st, Nor shalldeathbrag thou wand’restin his shade When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st. So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. A B A B C D C D E F E F GG
What is the poem’s purpose? Shakespeare’s purpose is to show his love’s beauty in describing summer. He ends the sonnet with a couplet which says that his love will live on forever in the sonnet and it’s beauty. The sonnet shows beauty and love and how literature can keep alive any emotion.
How fully does the poem accomplish its purpose? Shakespeare uses comparisons to summer to show that summer is too hot, has “rough winds”, and is fleeting. Contrast: He contrasts this by saying that the beloved is “more lovely and more temperate”. Personification: Shakespeare also personifies death in saying “Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade”. This shows the beloved’s ever lasting beauty and life that can never be changed- not even by death.
How fully does the poem accomplish its purpose? Imagery: The imagery used in the poem helps to emphasize the overpowering beauty of the beloved compared to the less powerful beauty of summer. Shakespeare does this through negative summer imagery: Summer= “Rough Winds” “ too hot the eye of heaven” Punctuation: The punctuation is mostly normal except two enjambments and one extra punctuation in the couplet. The couplet’s comma- “So long lives this , and this gives life to thee.”- gives finality to Shakespeare’s purpose of having the beloved live on in the sonnet.
How important is this purpose? The purpose of this poem is for Shakespeare to show his beloved’s beauty and how it will last forever. The overall purpose is much deeper and universal. The ending couplet says it all: “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.” The message of the couplet is that as long as there is life on Earth then the beloved will live on in the sonnet. I believe this shows a more universal and important message that literature such as poetry allows thoughts, emotions, and even people to live on long after they are gone.