Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis is an excellent post on Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis consists of stanza wise word meaning and paraphrase in order to help you Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis Introduction
The sonnet opens with the line Shall I compare thee, and so the sonnet 18 is also known by its very first line. Shakespeare sonnet 18-word meaning helps you to understand Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis deeply and the sonnet 18 stanza wise paraphrase will ease your study on Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
Summer is the most beautiful time in the world of Nature in a cold country such as England. Very often human beauty is thought to be inferior to Nature’s beauty. However, William Shakespeare proves the opposite by introducing the power of literature (poetry) in investing immorality to the pivotal human being. These aspects have been pointed out by William Shakespeare in “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” (Sonnet No18). In order to acquaint the readers with this poem in detail, eight items have been provided. These items have been provided in this pattern:
NUMBER OF THE SECTION
|No. 1||A short but effective account of the life of the poet of “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” i.e. William Shakespeare|
|No.2||An account of the major literary works of William Shakespeare|
|No.3||Some introductory comments about the poem “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”|
|No.4||A stanza-wise presentation of the text of the poem “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”|
|No.5||A stanza-wise presentation of the meanings of the key words and phrases of the poem “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”. Comments have been provided where necessary.|
|No.6||A stanza-wise paraphrase of the poem. Great care has been paid in using as simple words as possible.|
|No.7||A summing up of the key idea of the text.|
|No.8||A mention of the main points of the poem “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”|
Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis Part 1
Life Of William Shakespeare
Every student of literature should know about the life of the writer of the text one is going to read. So read and enjoy the section entitled “Life Of William Shakespeare” for the sake of Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
William Shakespeare was born at Stratford-on-Avon in Warwickshire in 1564. Nothing is definitely known about the education of Shakespeare. He was possibly educated at the Grammar School at Stratford. His real teachers were the men and women and the natural influences which surrounded him. When Shakespeare was fourteen years old, his father fell into debt. Therefore Shakespeare left school to support the family. However, nothing can be conclusively said as to which work he did in the next eight years. In 1582 he was married to Anne Hathway. About the year 1587, Shakespeare went to London.
Here he started to produce plays and poems one after another. Indeed it would not be wrong to say that the period from 1587 to 1611 was of his greatest literary activity. As personal misfortunes began to pile up, he started to visit Stratford on a frequent basis. About the year 1611, he steeled permanently at Stratford-on-Avon. After a few quiet years at Stratford-on-Avon Shakespeare died in 1616.
Literary Works Of William Shakespeare
In order to have extensive knowledge of a literary artist, one needs to know about the key literary works of that writer. So read and enjoy the section entitled “Literary Works Of William Shakespeare” in order to learn Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis deeply.
Among Shakespeare’s earliest writings one can refer to “Venus and Adonis” (1593) and “The Rape of Lucrece”(1594) which are two long narrative poems. In 1599 comes out a collection of his verse called “The Passionate Pilgrim”. In 1609 a collection of his sonnets was printed by Thomas Thorpe as “Sonnets”. In between 1995 and 1613 comes out tragedies like “Hamlet”, “Macbeth”, “Othello” and “King Lear”, comedies like “As You Like It” and “Twelfth Night”, history plays like “Henry IV” (Part I and II), “Henry V”, Roman plays like “Julius Cesar” and “Antony and Cleopatra”, problem plays like “Measure for Measure”, “Troilus and Cressida” and last plays like “The Tempest”, “Cymbeline” and “Winter’s Tale”.
Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis Part 2
Introduction To “Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day?”
There is no substitute for reading a text with prior knowledge because it creates the ideal mindset for the understanding of the text itself. So before approaching the text of “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” read “Introduction To “Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day?” before Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
Literature as a form of art is eternal. It has the capacity to make its content eternal. The poem “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” is about the effort of the poet to make his friend eternal by writing a poem about him.
Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis Part 3
Sonnet 18 Text Stanza 1
There is no substitute for reading a literary text for having a perception of the literary flavour of the writer. So give a patient reading to the text for the sake of Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
Shall I compare three to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sonnet 18 Word Meaning Stanza 1
Literature employs a kind of language which is different from that of prose. That is why unless the meaning of each and every word becomes known, the real meaning of a given text cannot be understood. Keeping in this aim a number of word notes have been provided here for a good understanding of Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
Word or Phrase
Meaning and Comments (where necessary)
|Shall I compare||I shall not compare|
|I||the poet, i.e. William Shakespeare|
|compare||make an analysis|
|thee||The friend to whom the sonnet is addressed. Most probably, the friend is the Earl of Southampton.|
|summer’s day||the season of summer. T is a case of part for the whole (metonymy)|
|lovely||beautiful or good-looking. Actually the sense of beauty is based on personal perception.|
|temperate||moderate or balanced|
|rough winds||powerful winds. It represents the intemperate nature of summer.|
|shake||make someone or something. The sense of spoiling or destruction is implied here.|
|darling||dear or favourite. Here the buds are looked upon as the favourite of Nature because when turned into flowers in spring these are likely to beautify Nature.|
|May||the season of spring. This clarification does not explain how flowers blooming in spring can have their buds in summer. Most probably, the word ‘May’ refers to the May tree or the Common Hawthorn that blooms in England in summer time.|
|lease||span or period of existence. However, ‘lease’ is a legal term.|
|date||span of existence. By the phrase “too short a date” the poet means that summer has a very short span and it is true in the case of England.|
Sonnet 18 Paraphrase Stanza 1
A literary text is so dense in meaning that even an acquaintance with the meanings of words is inadequate to help one to have a complete grip over a text. The paraphrase can fill up this void. That is why a stanza-wise paraphrase of the poem has been provided to learn Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
According to Shakespeare, he shall not compare his friend with the season of summer. Clarifying the matter he says that his friend is better-looking and more moderate than summer. Stormy winds blow in summer and it destroys the buds which would have turned to flowers in spring and would have beautified Nature. To add to it, the fact that summer has a brief span in comparison to the other seasons reinforces the impression that the sense of balance is missing in summer.
Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis Part 4
Sonnet 18 Text Stanza 2
Sonnet 18 text stanza 2 is given for Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
Sometime too 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;
Sonnet 18 Word Meaning Stanza 2
Sonnet 18-word meaning stanza 2 is given in the table for Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
Word or Phrase
Meaning and Comments (where necessary)
|too hot||with great or unusual heat|
|eye of heaven||the sun. The phrase “eye of heaven” is metaphorical where eye and heaven are compared to the sun and the sky respectively.|
|shines||glows or gives light|
|gold complexion||golden coloured appearance. It is true that the identical coloured rays of the sun give it the said appearance.|
|dimmed||becoming dull. The appearance of the sun becomes dull when it is covered by dark clouds.|
|every fair||all beautiful objects. Here the word ‘fair’ has been used as a concrete noun.|
|(from) fair||beauty. Here the word ‘fair’ has been used as an abstract noun.|
|sometime||at some point of time|
|declines||decays or decreases|
|chance||accidental occurrence. The activities of “rough winds” and dark clouds are instances of accidental occurrences.|
|nature’s changing course||the rule of flux according to which any living creature goes through the steps of birth, growth, decay and death.|
|untrimmed||deprived or robbed. Thus loss of beauty is said to be common in all living creatures.|
Sonnet 18 Paraphrase Stanza 2
Enjoy sonnet 18 paraphrase stanza 2 for the sake of Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
At times the sun shines with great heat. Sometimes the golden coloured appearance of the sun becomes dull as it becomes covered with dark clouds. This is an instance of the loss of beauty on the part of the sun. Indeed, all beautiful objects lose their beauty at some point of time or the other. This loss sometimes occurs in the natural process of flux according to which any living creature goes through the steps of birth, growth, decay and death. In other cases, it happens in accidental occurrences as happens in the case of summer.
Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis Part 5
Sonnet 18 Text Stanza 3
Sonnet 18 text stanza 3 is given for Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
Sonnet 18 Word Meaning Stanza 3
Sonnet 18-word meaning stanza 3 is given in the table for Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
Word or Phrase
Meaning and Comments (where necessary)
|eternal||Immortal. The poet invests the quality of immortality to the beauty of his friend who is himself a mortal creature.|
|summer||beauty. Here the word ‘summer’ has been used in a symbolic sense.|
|fade||become dull. Here the word implies that the beauty of the poet’s friend shall not decrease.|
|possession||control or command. Here human beauty is looked upon in material terms.|
|fair||beauty. Here the word ‘fair’ has been used as an abstract noun.|
|ow’st||owns. Here the beauty of the poet’s friend is said to be static which is not possible according to the rule of flux.|
|brag||boast of. Here death has been presented as a braggart.|
|wand’rest||moves about aimlessly. The use of elision, as also in ‘ow’st’ deserves mention here.|
|shade||shadow. Here Death has been presented as a giant being in whose shade implies impending death.|
|eternal lines||the lines of poetry. Poetry as a form of art is eternal, i.e. timeless.|
|to time||from the past, through the present towards the future. In the case of human beings growing “to time” implies death which is sure to come to human beings in future.|
|grow’st||moving forward. In the case of the poet’s friend two kinds of growth —- metaphorical growth towards eternity (through poetry) and physical growth towards future ‘time’ (death) —- occur simultaneously.|
Study more – 1. Pride and Prejudice Summary
Sonnet 18 Paraphrase Stanza 3
Enjoy sonnet 18 paraphrase stanza 3 for the sake of Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
The beauty of summer decreases either in the natural course or accidental occurrences. However, the beauty of the poet’s friend shall not decrease in accidental occurrences. Moreover, it shall not decrease in the natural course either. Since the poet has written a poem about his friend, two kinds of growth —- metaphorical growth towards eternity through poetry and physical growth towards future death —- will occur in the friend simultaneously. Therefore, Death who boasts that every human being is under his control will not be able to say so about the poet’s friend.
Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis Part 6
Sonnet 18 Text Stanza 4
Sonnet 18 text stanza 4 is given for Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Sonnet 18 Word Meaning Stanza 4
Sonnet 18-word meaning stanza 4 is given in the table for Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
|Word or Phrase||Meaning and Comments (where necessary)|
|so long as||up to the point|
|breathe||exist on this earth|
|can see||can read poetry. Events like the end of both breathing and seeing refer to Doomsday on which day the world is said to be destroyed.|
|this||the present poem which the poet has written about his friend|
|life||immortality or eternity. Poetry as a form of art is eternal and has the capacity to impart eternity to its content which in this case is the poet’s friend.|
|thee||you. It refers to the poet’s friend.|
Sonnet 18 Paraphrase Stanza 4
Enjoy sonnet 18 paraphrase stanza 4 for the sake of Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis.
A piece of literature achieves eternity because it is read years after years of its production. The poem which the poet has written about his friend will be read by human beings up to Doomsday. Actually, on this day the world will be destroyed and nobody will exist thereafter. Thus the poem written by the poet will provide immortality to his friend.
Shakespeare Sonnet 18 Line By Line Analysis Summing Up In A Nutshell
The act of abridgement of the content of a literary text is impractical because it is an organic unit. Still, to make things a little easy, let us read the section entitled “Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis Summing Up In A Nutshell”.
A human being is a mortal creature. However, poetry can give a human being immortal by making him it’s subject. Following this method, the poet will immortalise his friend. It is this touch of immortality that gives the poet’s friend the upper hand over summer which is arguably the best time in the world of Nature.
Shakespeare Sonnet 18 Line By Line Analysis At A Glance
In order to make a very quick review of your learning till now, check yourself through “Shakespeare Sonnet 18 Line By Line Analysis At A Glance”.
Name of the poem
|Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? (Sonnet No.18)|
Name of the poet
Type of the Poem
The poet’s friend Mr. W.H. (the Earl of Southampton or the Earl of Pembroke)
Four stanzas and the first three stanzas have four lines while the final stanza has two lines
abab, cdcd, efef, gg
the immortalization of human beings through art in general and poetry in particular
You can watch this video for a better understanding of Shakespeare sonnet 18 line by line analysis
My name is Priyankar Datta. My academic qualification is M.A in English Literature. I have qualified the N.E.T in English Literature.
I am attached to Netaji Subhas Open University in the capacity of an Academic Counselor. I have served Khustigiri D.S. High Madrasah as an Assistant Teacher of English, Suri Vidyasagar College, Sambhunath College, Labpur, Krishna Chandra College, Hetampur, Birbhum Mahavidyalaya, Suri, and I.G.N.O.U (Suri) at different phases of my life. At present, I am pursuing a Ph.D course from T.M.B.U. Literature in general and poetry in particular appeals to me a lot. Besides poetry literary theory and literary criticism interest me a lot.
Writing books and articles is my passion.
I want to help the students of the English language and literature by providing the materials that will help them to learn these things with ease. Side by side, I want to help those students who want to secure a job by appearing at the competitive examination. That is why I have opened an educational channel on the YouTube platform named PRIYANKAR DATTA.