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The Meaning Behind the Lines: Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18

Creating a literary piece requires an understanding of various poetic devices. William Shakespeare is one of the world’s most renowned writers, capable of capturing the reader’s attention. Even though it is challenging to grasp the essence of one’s fairness, a person can indeed be more attractive than a day in summer. In this essay, the distinctions between the writer’s loved one’s attractiveness and a summer day’s beauty in Sonnet 18 will be discussed, and examples of comparative and metaphoric elements in the woman’s description will be presented.

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Sonnet 18 is highly popular among the scholars of the literary society. In the work discussed, the author presents a monologue for his loved one, where he compares her to a beautiful summer day. The poem starts with a question for the woman, stating that the writer wants to explain how lovely she is through contrasting her attributes and a summer day’s features (Shakespeare, 1989). Shakespeare argues that his loved one is superior in beauty, saying that “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date” (Shakespeare, 1989, p. 1227). Even though a day in summer is exceptionally warm and pleasant, at one point in time, it will still fade, and another, less attractive season will take its place. The woman’s charm, however, is different, as “Thy eternal summer shall not fade” (Shakespeare, 1989, p. 1227). The beauty that this person possesses will stay with her forever, even in death (Shakespeare, 1989). Overall, Shakespeare demonstrates that his loved one’s beauty is far more extraordinary than that of a summer’s day.

Capturing the reader’s attention is essential for a successful poem. To grasp a person’s interest, the author should be knowledgeable of specific techniques which could aid them in achieving this goal. Shakespeare appears to have impressive skills in this sphere, showing masterful use of metaphors. Altogether, the poem can be considered a metaphor, as the woman is compared to a summer’s day. The latter is regarded as a symbol of true beauty, an example of considerable fairness (Shakespeare, 1989). However, the woman’s attractiveness is described as even more prominent than that symbol, more grasping than the charm of nature itself (Shakespeare, 1989). By contraposing the day and his loved one and stating that the female is more significant, Shakespeare manages to transfer the magnificence of her visual appearance to the reader.

The overall meaning behind the poem can be explained due to the author’s masterful use of literary elements. The writer provides several examples of how the woman’s attractiveness is inspiring to him, even using hyperbole to say that “Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade” (Shakespeare, 1989, p. 1227). The event of death is undoubtedly bound to happen to all living things, even to the summer’s day, but Shakespeare denies the possibility of that happening to his loved one’s beauty (Shakespeare, 1989, p. 1227). Such devotion to the female’s charm and belief in her eternal life helps the reader understand how strong is the writer’s love for this woman and how exceptional this person is in his eyes.

To conclude, Shakespeare employs several literary elements to create a monologue devoted to the attractiveness of the woman he loves. By utilizing comparisons and metaphors, the author manages to describe the magnificence of this person’s visual appearance. Finally, the poet uses hyperbola to underline the immortality of such beauty. Such detailed descriptions transfer the man’s love towards his beloved, showing the depth of his feelings for this woman. Overall, it is demonstrated that an individual’s fairness can be superior to a summer day’s features.

Reference

Shakespeare, W. (1989). William Shakespeare: The complete works. Barnes & Noble Publishing.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, December 22). The Meaning Behind the Lines: Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-meaning-behind-the-lines-shakespeares-sonnet-18/

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StudyCorgi. "The Meaning Behind the Lines: Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18." December 22, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-meaning-behind-the-lines-shakespeares-sonnet-18/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The Meaning Behind the Lines: Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18." December 22, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-meaning-behind-the-lines-shakespeares-sonnet-18/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'The Meaning Behind the Lines: Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18'. 22 December.

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