SONNET NO 18
1.What is the main theme of William Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet No-18: Shall | Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?’
In his Sonnet No-18, the poet touches on two themes. One is the imperishibility of his friend’s beauty. The other is the indestructibility of poetry. These two themes are connected well in his sonnet. The poet is charmed by the bewitching beauty of his friend. He does not find its parallel in nature. Even the most pleasant season of summer stands inferior to his friend. For, the poet’s friend has “eternal summer’. It is so because the poet celebrates his friend’s beauty in his poetry. And he firmly believes that his sonnet will give eternal life to his friend.
2.How does Shakespeare compare the beauty of summer to that of his friend in his ‘Sonnet No-18?
Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet No-18’ begins with a fine comparison. It is between the season of summer and the poet’s dear friend. The point of similarity is beauty. The poet finds summer lovely and temperate. But he observes that his friend is superior to summer. He puts forward the logic to clarify the comparison. Summer is transitory. It is affected by the destructive west wind. Sometime summer sun is too hot to be enjoyable. Thus the beauty of summer suffers change. In comparison with that the beauty of the poet’s friend is eternal. He has infinite grace and charm. The poet lovingly discovers ‘eternal summer’ in his favourite friend.
3.What does the poet compare the young person to ? Identify at least three qualities that make the person superior to the simile.
In Sonnet No-18 the poet, William Shakespeare compares the young person to summer. But he goes a step forward to declare that his young friend is superior to summer. Firstly, in sheer beauty his friend out-tops Summer. He is, indeed, a paragon of beauty. Secondly, his friend’s beauty is not as fleeting as summer. Thirdly, the poet’s friend is more temperate than summer. Summer is not always pleasant. It becomes too hot sometime. And again, the fierce west wind with its dark clouds dims the brightness of summer. All this explains why the poet finds his young friend superior to summer.
4.State the arguments in the octave and the sestet.
The poem ‘Sonnet No-18’ is a glowing tribute to the beauty of the poet’s young friend. In this connection he compares summer’s beauty to that of his friend. Now he is to offer some arguments to show that his friend is far superior to summer. In the octave the poet states that summer’s beauty is in a flux. It is subject to changing course of nature. In the sestet theme is strongly explained. The poet says that the young handsome noble man will remain fresh and fine for good. The reason is that the friend’s beauty has been immortalized in his sonnet.
5. What does ‘summer’ stand for in Shakespeare’s Sonnet No-18 ? What prompts the poet to remark And every fair from fair sometime declines’?
‘Summer’ in Shakespere’s ‘Sonnet No-18’ is the main recurring image. Here’summer’ stands for beauty. The poet looks at the world of nature. He finds summer lovely, calm and fragrant. But he also observes that it is not permanent. Nature’s beauty is mutable. Again, the sun in summer is often too scorching to be comfortable. Besides, dark clouds often make the sun pale. And heavy gusts of wind sometime shake the lovely flowers of summer. All this prompts the poet to remark every fair object loses its beauty sooner or later.
6.”When ….grow’st.”-What are ‘eternal lines’? Who does ‘thou‘ refer to here? How will ‘thou grow’st’ in eternal lines?
Here ‘eternal lines’ means the poet’s verse of everlasting appeal. Specifically it implies the present sonnet. Here ‘thou’ refers to the young handsome man to whom the sonnet is addressed. The poet is aware of the sublimity of his creation. He knows that his verse will be a source of eternal joy. With this firm conviction he is delighted to declare that his friend will conquer death. The poet preserves his friend’s beauty in his sonnet. The readers will appreciate it from generation to generation. As a result the young man will enjoy an eternal lease of life.
7. How will death’ be prevented from bragging that thou wand’rest in his shade’?
While glorifying the young friend, the poet is conscious of death. He knows that none can defy death. All earthly things are perishable. Obviously death will claim the beauty of his friend. But suddenly the poet overcomes the contradiction. He becomes aware of the strength of poetry. It is the only thing that can get the upperhand. The poet affirms the deathless existence of his friend through his immortal verses. Once gets inscribed in his poetry, he will be far above the domain of death.
8″So long ..,.to thee.”-Wherefrom is the line taken? Who is the poet? What does “this’ refer to here? How can this’ give life to thee’?
The line is taken from ‘Sonnet-18: Shall I Compare Thee to Summer’s Day ?’ William Shakespeare is the poet. Here ‘this’ refers to the sonnet. But in general it implies the poetry of Shakespeare where he sings the glory of his friend. The poet is moved by the impressive beauty of his friend. But he is aware of the power of death. He is aware that his friend cannot escape from physical death. But he is also confident of the sustaining power of poetry. Poetry is not death’s slave. It lives an eternal life. The poet praises his friend in his poetry. Consequently, the friend will enjoy timeless existence.
9. “But thy eternal summer shall not fade.” Who is the poet? What is meant by ‘thy eternal summer’? How does the poet suggest that “thy eternal summer” shall never end?
The poet is William Shakespeare. Here ‘thy eternal summer’ means the beauty of the poet’s friend.
While glorifying the young friend, the poet is conscious of death. He knows that none can defy death. It is all-powerful. All earthly things are perishable. Obviously death will claim the beauty of his friend. But suddenly the poet overcomes the contradiction. He becomes aware of the strength of poetry. It is only thing that can get the upper hand. The poet affirms the deathless existence of his friend through his immortal verses. He decides to sing the glory of the his friend in his sonnet. Once he gets inscribed in poetry, he will be far above the domain of death.