Shall I compare thee to a summer's day

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William Shakespeare is universally recognized as the greatest writer in the English language. His work encompasses many different themes, styles and concepts. In fact, every aspect of the human condition is portrayed in his writings. Shakespeare's sonnet 18 "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day2" (1609), praises and compares the beloved's youth and beauty to a summer's day.


The association of the idea of youth can be seen as a period of regeneration, whereby such beauty is much livelier and more colorful than the summer's days. Summer is described as the "eye of heaven5" with its "gold complexion"; the imagery of the summer is simple and vivid. The language is rather plain, and Shakespeare has chosen not to apply too many literacy devices. Alliterations, repetition, etc. would restrict his use of different words and so create boundaries. By avoiding such linguistic devices, Shakespeare is able to express his beloved's beauty openly and more eloquently.
His chosen mellow words combine to produce the full impact of the regular rhyme scheme- (day/Maie), (shines/ declines6). This emits a powerful sense of unrestrained behavior, such as "rough windes", which contrast with the images of summer. When Shakespeare describes the powerful image of "Rough windes" and how they "shake the darling buds of May", he is utilizing in the first stanza, powerful metaphorical devices in order to show a change. He implies that his beloved does not suffer from these winds as summer does. Therefore, the beloved's comparison to summer and winter is expanded more pleasingly and lyrically.
The final couplets which conclude the sonnet, bring everythi ...
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