William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) is the national poet of England. He has written at least 38 plays and 150 poems. William Shakespeare’s Shall I compare you to a summer’s day? Is a sonnet that discusses the beauty of the poet’s lover and his intense love for her. This is Shakespeare’s sonnet 18. Shakespeare’s sonnets are of 14 lines in which there are three quatrains and a couplet. They maintain the rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg.
Shakespeare uses the images from nature to compare the beauty of his love. Summer has an indescribable place in western culture. In this poem, Shakespeare presents summer as a threat to buds. He values his lover and indirectly writes about how valuable she is compared to summer.
Shakespeare emphasizes that physical beauty is perishable. Experience with a person can diminish the concept of beauty in that individual. He mentions time as one of the other reasons for this. In this poem, Shakespeare portrays the elegance of his Lady. Here he denotes the scratches and bumps on the skin as part of getting old.
Shakespeare emphasizes that her external beauty will never fade. His ardent love for his sweetheart makes him blind. For him, the first appearance of his lady remains the same forever. Unlike some other poets who emphasized the idea of carpe diem, Shakespeare believes that his lover has no death and time has nothing to do with them.
Poet assures her that even if she dies, she is alive through his poetry. Shakespeare confirms that as long as the world exists, literature too will coexist. He vigorously expresses his divine love for her which is immortal.