- Slides: 18
Shall I compare thee 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: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd; But thy eternal summer shall not fade Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
An introduction to Shakespeare’s Sonnets • Some of these sonnets were written as early as 1580 s, but most were written in the 1590 s • Published in 1609 (with the exception of Passionate Pilgrim sonnets previously published in 1599) • Most use the ELIZABETHAN FORM: 3 quatrains and a final couplet rhyming ABAB CDCD EFEF GG
Themes • Many of these poems deal with the THEME OF LOVE and TIME: LOVE outlasts TIME POETRY outlasts both LOVE AND TIME • Other themes: beauty, death, friendship, power of the beloved and suffering of the lover.
Two groups of sonnets • 154 Sonnets divided into 2 groups: a) 126 sonnets addressed to a YOUNG, goodlooking MAN (Fair Youth) b) 28 sonnets addressed to a mysterious DARK LADY
Sonnets to the young man • They form one of the most impressive explorations of themes of LOVE. • Shakespeare explores from all angles the sentiments the young man inspires him.
Sonnets to the young man • In his sonnets Shakespeare wishes to preserve the ETERNAL PART of the young’s man beauty against the effects of time. • There is a repeated idea of the poetry’s capacity to IMMORTALISE.
Sonnet 18 • Sonnet 18 uses a typical convention of Renaissance poems about the transience of youth and beauty. COMPARISON with aspect of nature. Nature imaginery dominates the poem. To a summer’s day
Sonnet 18 BUT, like a real summer, the young man’s youth won’t last long. Turning point of the sonnet: In the world of the poem, his beauty will never fade. ART will preserve the IDEA OF YOUTH.
st 1 quatrain Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Should I compare you to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: The youth’s beauty is more gentle and restrained than the beauty of a summer day. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of may Strong winds shake the beautiful bud of the early summer And summer’s lease hath all too short a date Summer has a deadline which is too short (LEASE: legal terminology)
nd 2 quatrain Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines Sometimes the sun shines too hot And often is his gold complexion dimmed And his golden face is often obscured And every fair from fair sometime decline All beautiful things occasionally become inferior in comparison with their essential previous state of beauty By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed By chance or by the changing course of the nature without ornaments
3 rd quatrain But thy eternal summer shall not fade But your eternal summer shall not die Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st Nor shall it lose its hold on that beauty which you so richly possess Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade And you will never die When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st As you will live on my enduring poetry
Final couplet So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see As long as people live and breathe, as long as eyes can see it So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. That is how long these verses will live, celebrating you , and continually renewing you life.
Figures of speech • SIMILE compares two different elements or ideas and allow them to remain distinct in spite of their similarities. Ex: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? ” • HYPERBOLE: the use of exaggeration as a rethorical device. Ex: “Shall I compare the to a summer’s day? ” • ASSONANCE is the repetition of vowel sounds. Ex: “So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. ”
Figures of speech • METAPHOR: the use of a word or phrase to refer to something that isn’t, creating a direct similarity between the word or phrase used and the thing described. Ex: “The eye of heaven” is used to referring to the SUN. • ALLITERATION: using several words that begin with the same letter. Ex: "Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date. "
Figures of speech • PERSONIFICATION: the attribution of human qualities to objects “his gold complexion dimmed” where HIS is used to referring to the SUN • REPETITION: the use of words repeatedly to reinforce an image, idea or to convey a message Ex: Note the repetition of certain words through the sonnet: summer, fair, so long, thou.
Meter • The meter is IAMBIC PENTAMETER which means 5 iambic feet : ten syllable lines in which even-numbered syllables are naturally accented • A IAMB is a metrical foot consisting of an unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable. ex: Shall I com PARE thee TO a SUM mer’s DAY? • This beat is used as it replicates the rhythm of that human heart and is a popular metre for love poetry.
Final observations In William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, one gets the feeling he is describing a love that goes beyond the temporal realm of time and seasons. • LINES ONE AND TWO start with a question which the rest of the sonnet answers. • LINES THREE THROUGH EIGHT point out a number of negative characteristics of summer. • LINES NINE THROUGH FOURTEEN offer a view of the lover's many contrasts with nature.