Analysis of a Sonnet Essay

Submitted By mistressrayne
Words: 624
Pages: 3

In William Shakespeare’s “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” the speaker vividly describes the never ending beauty of his friend. As the speaker colorfully paints a picture of his beloved, he remarks on the everlasting image his friend beholds through the use of the progression of nature. As the sonnet develops, it is evident that the speaker wants to ensure that his friend will remain in human memory until the end of time. With each new quatrain, the poem expands on the deep affection of the speaker for his friend, through a heartfelt promise of an infinite life of exquisiteness. In the first quatrain, the speaker introduces his feelings by trying to find something that is equivalent to his friend. The first two lines are an example of the speaker’s thought process. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? / Though art more lovely and more temperate:” (lines 1-2). Here, the speaker realizes that his friend is more gentle and captivating than summer itself! The speaker feels like his friend’s temper and personality deserve a better portrayal. He continues on with his expressions by trying to discover a more fitting representation of his friend. The following two lines are another example the speaker has conjured. “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, / And summer’s lease hath all too short a date” (3-4). Here, the speaker declares that summer destroys nature’s true beauty; therefore it is too cruel and harsh to describe his friend. Also, summer is too short of a timeframe and an inadequate interpretation of his feelings. In the second and third quatrain, the speaker expands at trying to capture the splendor of beauty of his friend by discovering other entities to compare. He does so by the use of the true course of nature. He transitions from one extreme to the next until he can find the perfect median. These two lines are a continuance of the evolvement of his pursuit. “Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines, / And often is his gold complexion dimmed;” (5-6). Now, the speaker is comparing his friend to the sun. At times, the sun is too hot, the weather variant of that would be the cloudy, muggy, rainy days where the sun does not shine. The speaker considers this unfavorable because his friend is never too bright or dull in apparent. He proclaims that his friend is far more admirable than nature. This is