Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

William Shakespeare “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” develops the theme of the appreciation of beauty, and the sense of falling in love by means of devices including imagery, simile, and metaphor.” The poem is a lyrical poem, comprising complete features of sonnet form. It has fourteen lines in total, divided into three quatrains then followed by a couplet. Shakespeare’s tone of voice at the commence of the poem is somewhat relaxed and joyful because he is going on talking about the person he is intrigued by.
In William Shakespeare’s sonnet “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” the audience is introduced to a poem in which he himself goes into depth about the person he is infatuated with. The author does not give any type of hints telling the audience who the poem is towards because it can be for both male and female. That’s the interesting part about William Shakespeare’s work which is to second hand guess yourself and thinking otherwise. Making you think and think rational when you read his work. The sonnet “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summers Day” is one of his most famous and published poems. Author William Shakespeare begins his poem with his most notorious line which is “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summers Day?” From just viewing line one it can clearly show that it’s a simile because he is pretty much stating that he compares his/her beauty to be as beautiful as like a summer’s day. The reason he compares them is because as we know summer days are more than usual extremely hot, windy, joyful and full of life and that’s exactly what Shakespeare is doing in this line. He is connecting both the lover and the poem together and implying that he/she is as beautiful or even more than a summer’s day. That would be categorized as a syndrome because he uses the summer’s day to represent the whole. You can even agree that it can be considered imagery because with just that little line the audience can picture the scene as if they were there. On the second line of the sonnet he goes more into depth emphasizes how the person he is dedicating to is more “lovely and more temperate” which in all means that him/hers beauty seems to overlaps the beautiful day of summer itself and when he says more temperate he means it as a way of saying that him/her is more beautiful and hotter than the sun itself. In line three and four he begins personifying the wind and stating that “Rough winds do shake the darling buds in May”. He begins talking about the darling buds of May and as we all know that’s the time when spring is ending, and summer is beginning, and flowers begin to bloom. Comparing him/her to a darling bud and suggesting that they are about to somewhat bloom into this beautiful flower. Not literally of course, what he meant by that was that as spring comes to an end the person will blossom with its beauty. To bloom as well as summer arrives. Shakespeare in line four highlights that “And summer’s lease hath all too short a date” Shakespeare meant by that as we know lease means for a short period of time and he is comparing that to summer signifying that summer goes as quick as it comes. Meaning that summer has an expiration date and that every moment spent with that person is something he will forever cherish.
Heading into the second set of line it’s safe to express so far about the poem and its figurative language is that he continues to use imagery as a tool for this poem as well as personification and metaphor’s. An example of a metaphor would be in line five when he states “Sometime too hot the eye of heavens shines”. Shakespeare’s fifth line goes on to describing that at times the sun can be extremely hot and charismatic just like the person he is describing in this poem. In the sixth line he is referring to as complexion “And often is his gold skin complexion dimmed” which shines as gold on a hot summer day. At this point in the poem the tone of the author begins to drift away from charismatic to somewhat sarcastic. At first, he begins the poem by stating that “Thou are more lovely and more temperate”. He then goes in line seven stating that “And every fair from fair sometimes declines” which is describing that everything beautiful will eventually come to its end and lose its perfection or its beauty. William Shakespeare in line eight states that “By chance, or natures changing course, untrimmed”. What he meant by that was that eventually beauty needs some trimming and by that, I mean that little by little beauty begins to fade away. Take flowers for example at some point in their lives they get trimmed thus losing its beauty. That’s what he meant by that. You can say that Shakespeare used personification on this line. Giving the term trimming human characteristics.
Throughout the poem Shakespeare tone in voice begins to change in the fact that in the beginning he sounds very optimistic and very positive in describing his loved one but then as he gets to the middle his mood seems to change from being negative to being negative. He emphasizes on the fact that beauty will eventually fade away in more than one occurrence. In lines nine and ten Shakespeare opens it up by stating that the “eternal summer shall not fade, “Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st” and by that he refers to the fact that the memories and times spent together will never be forgotten and that the love they hold for each other will be eternal. William also states that the beauty him/her possess will never fade away as time goes by. His tone in voice once again seemed to change in the fact that not too long ago he was describing that everything beautiful will eventually need some trimming or need some change and now he is stating that beauty his loved one holds will never drift away. It makes him sound like he is just contradicting himself. On the next fragment after e emphasizing that his loved one’s beauty shall always remain the same regardless at the fact that summer is but all too short. On lines eleven and twelve of the sonnet he states that “Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade”. By that he means that not even death can claim that beauty that his loved one possesses and that not even death can take her from him. That not even the almighty death itself can claim thee as her own because he/she will always belong to him in this life or the next. In line twelve of the sonnet Shakespeare highlights that the person he truly loves will forever live in his heart and in his poems as well because they are very dear to him. The last two lines of this sonnet talk about how as long as men are alive, breathing and healthy that his legacy will continue to live in the fact that his poems will continue to be read and read long after he has passed. Giving life to the poems once again. In the last two lines he uses personification as well because as we all know poems can’t live and he is giving the poem human characteristics.
In conclusion after reviewing and closely analyzing William Shakespeare’s poem “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” Realizing that his tone of voice would spiral out of control at times during the poem. As if he feared time. At times he seemed as if he was angry at the fact that time went by too quick and not enough time allowed him to spend summer with his beloved. Other times he spent glorifying how beautiful his beloved one was and how the beauty can’t ever be taken away. It makes it difficult for the audience to take his reason serious at times because at one point in the poem he seems to have contradicted himself. I found out that this poem had a portion of metaphors, similes, and imagery and personification throughout the entire poem. He begins the poem with a simile and ends it with a personification on the poem.

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