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Shakespear’s Sonnet 18

The power of words negatively or positively impacts people. Languages have a significant impact as people are typically affected by reading the words. The power contained in words can be used to build, create or destroy in equal measure. Encouraging words can be used constructively as well as destructive words can kill. Words alone can encourage, motivate, heal, humiliate, and even hurt. In sonnet 18, Shakespeare compares his love to that of the summer. The temperate and loving nature of the summer makes love unique. In the poem, Shakespeare compares one’s loveliness to the summer (Post 67). Although the summer’s nature in England is welcoming, it has its disadvantages. The rough winds of autumn and the heart of the less dim sun make the summer less welcoming.

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Reading, writing, and speaking is an integral parts of everyday life. The study of how people use different languages, where phrases and words are used, helps understand why people behave in specific ways. Comparing a person’s loveliness to the summer gives the reader a positive feeling to do better (Shakespeare 29). When the poet compares his love to a summer day, he later realizes it is not the ideal comparison as it is always not gentle because of the strong autumn winds. To a reader of the poem, the first lines demonstrate that love is beautiful, but it may not last long.

From the poem, Shakespeare has demonstrated that relationships and love may not last forever. It is illustrated by the different characteristics of human beings, which can sometimes be unpredictable. In other situations, humans have demonstrated that they can use words to build and restore peace. Such scenarios happen if there is a quarrel or differences between two or more individuals (Shakespeare 48). Through the poem, human relationships are not permanent and are rather temporary. It was written when the society was experiencing rapid changes, and hence the future could not be ascertained.

Other cultures may possess different attributes as compared to others. Despite the differences, the two societies, when they come together, will have to possess at least one similarity in common. The existence of both similarities and differences will help in terms of learning about other cultures. Knowledge gained from the different traits will help provide solutions to any existing problems (Shakespeare 51). In the third constrain of sonnet 18, Shakespeare demonstrates that nothing can take away the lover’s beauty as it has already been recorded.

Death in the poem has been personified as a dark robe. The state of death is not only signified by the darkness of shade but symbolized by the valley of death. In historical context, Shakespeare wrote in renaissance times, a time characterized by significant social, political, and cultural change. During the times when there was a significant influence by the catholic churches that had given way to less spiritual and secular forces. In religion, Shakespeare challenged the pope’s authority in spiritual matters (Post 120). He emphasized individual devotional practices and personal faith. Shakespeare influenced the political field by redistributing political power to individual states.

Sonnet 18 poem is in a Youth Sequence context with an accepted numbering sequence that originates from the year 1609, adopting the numbering system of 1 to 126. It is among the first cycle after the opening sequence was named procreation sonnets. It has employed the use of complex words which have more than one meaning (Shakespeare 20).

The poem has been structured in typical English. It consists of iambic pentameter lines that are numbered up to 14. It has a couplet and three quatrains. The author employed a characteristic rhyme scheme.

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The poem has employed an affectionate mood which can be seen throughout the poem. The tone used is of romantic intimacy, demonstrated by a young man who is intrigued by a woman’s beauty. Shakespeare wrote the poem on a hot summer day. The weather is perfect but it is breezy and accompanied by strong winds shaking May’s buds (Shakespeare 34). It can be simplified that the writer was under a tree on a sunny and hot afternoon. He enjoyed the weather until clouds came and swallowed the sun. The poem was brought to life by the use of imagery and symbolism. Shakespeare used figurative speech to presume immortality, fate, and change. For example, the word ‘summer’ was used to illustrate a mistress’s life protected from fate.

Sonnet 18 was written in a period of rampant and unsettling changes. The poem’s main aim was to express a sense of up-rootedness and uncertainty about the future. Shakespeare experienced the change and fading of many things, which some went ahead and decayed. The poem illustrates something that does not change, that is eternal and certain, and its love. The poem is the first to address a procreation issue where it portrays that; it is not a must for a young man to have children to preserve his beauty (Post 57). It illustrates the power of someone defying time and lasts forever, ensuring the beauty is preserved and maintained for future generations.

Works Cited

Jonathan F. S. Post. Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Poems: a Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP, 2017.

Shakespeare, William. Sonnets. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018.

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