1) What does the poet mean by “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day ?”


       The poet wants to compare his friend’s beauty to a lovely day of summer. The Poet made the comparison  to emphasize upon beauty. A summer’s day is graceful and charming. The poet’s friend is also attractive in his beauty.


2) What does the poet mean by “thou art more lovely and more temperate”?


      The very word ‘temperate’ means equable-neither too cold nor too hot. The word ‘temperate’ also means sweet, lovable, or soothing. The analogy leads the poet to the assertion that his friend’s beauty is much attractive, charming, and impressive. The poet contends that his friend’s beauty is ever temperate. 


3)What does the poet mean by “summer’s lease”?


       ‘Summer’s lease’ means the period for which the season of summer has the right to stay. The image of lease belongs to the field of law- indicates tenancy.


4) Explain the line “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May”.


        In summer, the high wind often damages the lovely beauty of the little buds of May. The buds of May are sweet and tender. But the hard gale of summer sheds the loved buds of roses of May now and then in such a way to present the growth. The image suggests the early death of young love blighted{destroyed} by some greater force. The poet refers to here the destructive touch of time.



5) “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date “How does the poet substantiate his Views?


         Summer is a season of beauty but it is also for a limited period. Lovely natural sights also disappear with the passing of the season. The poet says that it is so short that the sweet buds of May even cannot bloom fully because  the violent storm shakes them.


6) What does the poet mean by “sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines”?


        The poet goes to prove his assertion – ‘thou art more lovely and more temperate’. Here, the eye of heaven stands for the sun, which grows occasionally extremely hot, becomes scorching rather than pleasing.


7)What is meant by “nature’s changing course untrimmed”?


         ‘Nature changing course’ means the transitions and the alterations which take place as a matter of routine. ‘untrimmed ‘means spoilt by the normal course of seasons .’Trim’ means adorn or dress. In summer, nature is dressed in beauty. But the change of seasons spoils the beautiful dress of nature. Every beautiful thing or person loses external beauty or glamour because of the accidental decay.


8)What is meant by “gold complexion dimmed “?


          The term ‘gold complexion’ indicates the gold-colored face of the sun – the sun’s brightness. Here, the poet says that the beauty of the sun is not as pleasant and steady as that of his friend because the sun’s brightness sometimes is dimmed. 


9) What does the poet mean by “every fair from fair sometime declines “? 


           The poet, while comparing the beauty of his friend to that of a summer day, comments that every fair element of nature loses its beauty in course of time. Here, the word ‘fair is used for a dual purpose – the first ‘fair’ refers to a beautiful person or fair person and the second ‘fair’ means fairness or beauty. The poet here refers to the destructive power of time in the changing natural world. The inevitable ravage of time is perceived in the world of nature. Even, the lovely natural elements of summer lose their prime of beauty under the impact of the cruel hand of time


10) What does ‘eternal summer ‘mean?


      ‘ Eternal summer’ means everlasting beauty. Here, the unfading beauty of the poet’s friend is suggested. 


 11) How is its summer eternal?

The eternal summer of the poet’s friend is suggested here. ‘summer’ means beauty. The poet opines that his friend’s beauty is eternal, as it is not subjected to death and decay.


 12) Why shall the eternal summer not fade?

 The beauty of the poet’s friend is not subject to mutability that characterizes all earthly things. It defies the destructive time. It shall never fade because it will be given on the eternal lease of life by Shakespeare’s sonnet – sequence. The youth’s summer is not eternal in itself, but only so far as it is caught and preserved in shakes pear’s verses.


13) What is meant by his shade’?

‘His shade’ means the dark realm of death. Death is referred to here by ‘ his’.



14) What does the line mean “wanderest in his shade”.?


The poet means by the line that death will not be able to capture his friend and rob him of his beauty.



15) Why does the poet say that “death shall not brag thou”?


        Death shall not brag because the beauty of the poet’s friend will never die as it is preserved in Shakespeare’s sonnet-sequence. The poet is confident that his friend’s beauty is eternal.



16) what does the poet mean by ‘Eternal lines’?

By ‘Eternal lines’ means poetry which remains eternal throughout the ages.


17) What does the poet mean by ‘to time thou growest.? 


The -poet means that his fair friend will not decay but grow ever with time through the deathless lines of the poet. The poet’s friend passes from the limited span of individual life to eternity.


18) What will give life to whom and how .?


The sonnet, written by Shakespeare, will give life to his friend. The sonnet celebrating his friend’s beauty will confer immortality on him.


19) What message does the poet communicate here.?


The poet wants to express that his friend’s beauty will be immortalized in his poetry. He asserts in a challenging way that the beauty of his friend will be going on alone with the existence of his poetry.

Marks 10/15

1. How does the thought of the sonnet express the imagery and poetic diction. Discuss the theme of the sonnet (No. 18) and the poet’s sonnet-writing style.

Or Give the critical appreciation of the Sonnet (No. 18). Or, Discuss this Sonnet (No. 18) of Shakespeare is a conventional literary exercises.

Ans. Shakespearian sonnets are the lyrical expressions of the poet’s perception of friendship and devotion to his love and of his ideals and experiences. The sonnet (No. 18) is one of the most famous of his sonnets, it is both lyrical and dramatic-perfectly structured with conventional elements which are generally found in many poems of cognate theme and form of the contemporary period. Plato, Ovid, Petrarch, Ronsard, Sidney, Watson, Constable and Daniel quickened Shakespeare’s sonneteering energy. Shakespeare caught in his sonnets Plato’s ethereal conception of beauty which Petrarch first wove into the web of the sonnet. Shakespeare took over Plato’s conception of earthly beauty as a reflection of a heavenly essence. He also follows the Petrarchan themes which typically discuss the love and beauty of a beloved. –

Sonnet (No. 18) is a tribute to his beautiful friend (the Earl of Southampton, Henry Wriothesley) who is perfect embodiment of the Platonic conception of archetypal beauty. The prime of his beauty is depicted through the image of summer and the poet feels that the beauty of his friend far exceeds the beauty of the summer. According to the poet-his beauty, like the Platonic, is above change wrought by devouring Time on all earthly things. His friend’s beauty doesn’t chance, or nature’s changing course, remains untouched by death’s coarse-hand. Shakespeare was not an “unconscious” genius, as is sometimes affirmed. He was fully conscious of his exceptional gifts as a poet, and this sonnet shows that consciousness. He knew that his excellent sonnet (poetic work) would be read for all times to come;- and the miracle, of keeping his friend’s eternal beauty, is accomplished by the poet’s excellent immortal-lines written to commemorate this beauty :

“So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.” Part of the fair youth sequence (1-126), the sonnet “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” is the first of the cycle after the opening sequence now described as the Procreation sonnets. The anticipation of immortality for his verse, and so immortality for his ‘Fair youth’ was a commonplace with the sonneteers in the Elizabethan period. Such type of theme (i.e. immortality through verse) has been dealt with in Edmond Spencer’s ‘Amoretti’ (sonnets 27, 69, 75)-Drayton’s ‘idea’ (sonnets 6, 44)-Daniel’s ‘Delia’ (sonnet 39). Shakespeare are borrowed the theme to protect his Fair youth against time’s ravages, not only from Petrarch but also from Roman poets-Horace and Ovid. Scholars have found parallels within the poem to Ovid’s ‘Tristia’ and ‘Amores’ – both of which have love themes. It is also the first of the cycle after the opening sequence now described as the Procreation sonnets, although some scholars see it as a part of the Procreation sonnets, as it still addresses the idea of reaching eternal life through the written word-a theme of sonnets 15-17. In this view, it can be seen as part of a transition to sonnet 20’s time theme. There are many theories about the identity of the 1609 Quarto’s enigmatic dedicatee, Mr. W. H. Some scholars suggest that the sonnet (No. 18) may be expressing a hope that the Procreation sonnets despaired of-the hope of metaphysical procreation in a homosexual relationship.

Imagery constitutes one of the stylistic features of the Shakespearean sonnets. The richness of his sonnets derives more from their imagery and diction than from any other attribute. His imagery conforms to a certain extent, to the Elizabethan convention which is emblematic. Spenser, Marlowe, Lyly, Robert Greene and other sonneteers of the time have all a stock names and images which are emblems of the ideal,-lily of strength, the rose is the emblem of youth. Similarly, in the sonnet (No. 18), the image of often spoiled spring blossoms in-“Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” (in the 3rd line)-indicates an early death; and the rose image, in the phrase “darling buds of May”, is deftly humanized. In the 4th line-“And summer’s lease hath all too short a date”- the image of summer is taken as a lease-holder because summer has a temporary tenancy on nature. The picturesque image in the 5th line-“the eye of heaven”-suggests the correspondence between personality and heaven. In the 6th line, the image of “gold complexion” is taken as a person with golden face. Again, in “gold complexion dimmed”-the image of the setting sun beckons our mind with melancholy feeling. Thus, in the sonnet (No. 18), we find the conventional style (of sonnet writing)- the imagery of summer, the sun, winds and flowers, and the personification of death (“Nor shall Death brag thou….” in the 11th line).

The achievement of Shakespeare lies particularly in the fact that he has exploited materials and devices which are very much. conventional. This sonnet (No. 18) is a typical Shakespearean sonnet. Structurally, Petrarchan sonnet is divided into two parts-octave (which contains eight lines) and sestet (which contains remaining six lines). But the Shakespearean sonnet (including this sonnet No. 18) consists of three quatrains (each quatrain containing four lines) followed by a rhyming couplet, and has the characteristic rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg.

We may conclude with the words of John Dover Wilson : “In this sonnet we step straight from a series of lovely poetical exercises, probably composed to order, into an eager and impassioned love poem, one of the finest in the language, addressed by one lover to another; for Shakespeare could never have offered love in these terms had he not been sure that the love was reciprocated.” But this much we can say that the sonnet (No. 18) reveals the soul’s history of the poet at some particular period of his life through conventional modes. čumožnog jus

2. Discuss Shakespeare’s treatment of “Time” and “Love” in the sonnet (no. 18).

Or, How is the conflict of beauty and death or time portrayed in the sonnet?

Ans. The meaning of “time” has different connotations, and Shakespeare *Sonnet 18′ provides an example of the different meanings of time. Some of the meanings in this sonnet refer to a day, a month, a season, the end of duration, and an eternity. Not only does this sonnet reveal the different meanings of time, but it also allows the speaker to use this one word to add depth and richness to the structure of his poem. Shakespeare uses the different meanings and dilemma of “time” to specify his theme that poetry can preserve all beauty even after death and new generations come.

The notion of “time” in the sonnet (No. 18) provides a great depth of interpretation in which the speaker questions a way to preserve the beauty of a young man against the constant change of “time”. Shakespeare thinks of the eternizing power of his verse to protect the beloved against the ravages of “time”. He borrows this idea from Petrarch (also from Ovid and Horace); and finally he thinks love alone can survive the onslaught of “time”. The speaker understands that “time” causes aging and creates new generation; therefore, he decides that his poetry will last for an eternity. Such a love, when eternized in verse, becomes a stronghold which rebuffs all onslaughts of omnipotent ‘Time’. So the poet will give his ‘Fair youth’ (beloved) an eternal lease of life by his verse:

“When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st : So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

The speaker thinks lovers will see his love in this sonnet and take him as a model. His image will be reflected in the eyes of the lovers; he will dwell in the eyes of readers who will learn to love him by reading this sonnet.

The speaker’s attitude is always one of defiance of “time” devouring beauty and youth. Shakespeare is continually on the look out for something which will effectually defy “time” and preserve his beloved’s beauty and youth forever. Many of themes of Shakespeare’s sonnets are those found in the contemporary sonnets. Of these ‘injurious time’ is a salient and Ovidian theme in his sonnets. ‘Time’ in him is the foremost actor in the tragedy of human life. The analysis of the forms and other rhetorical devices show the speaker’s awareness of the different meanings of “time”. In the sonnet, the problem of “time” is not a metaphysical problem at all. Indeed if “time” had presented itself to Shakespeare as a metaphysical problem, it could not have been dealt with the verse or the sonnet (No. 18).

The form and rhetorical devices, such as anaphora, personification, and alliteration allow the reader to understand how the speaker uses the notion of “time” to emphasize his theme of preserving youth and beauty through verse. The sonnet (No. 18) consists of three quatrains written in iambic pentameter, and it ends in a rhymed heroic-couplet. This sonnet resembles an Italian one because it consists of two parts and deals with the speaker’s admiration of the beauty of his ‘Fair youth’ (the Earl of Southampton). The first eight lines form an octave which describes the problem;-the speaker questions : 19% mort publ

St. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”- the erratic season of summer becomes problematic for the speaker. When the speaker utters

“And summer’s lease hath all too short a date”, it suggests that the notion of “time” refers to the constant change of seasons. The constant change characterizes the first two quatrains, and this change shows that “time” becomes the dilemma for the speaker who wants to preserve the beauty of his beloved. The six lines of the sestet give resolution to the octave. This resolution focuses the eternal-the speaker says:

lines to time thou grow’st,” here the poet suggests that “time” keeps shifting, but his poetry doe not alter. The speaker discusses many durations starting with “day” in the first line, the month of May in the third line, the season of summer in the fourth line, and the lines nine and twelve deal with the “eternal”.

“When in eternal

“But thy eternal summer shall not fade”


“When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.” The octave and sestet shift from problem to solution just like “time” changes, and this form reinforces Shakespeare’s dilemma with time.





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