State the arguments in the octave and the sestet.

Sonnet No.18, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” by William Shakespeare is addressed to a young friend of his. In the octave, (first eight lines) the poet by proposing to compare his friend to a summer’s day, actually emphasises on the fact that the comparison is inappropriate. His friend’s beauty is more spectacular and restrained than the beauty of summer. The season summer and other graceful natural elements are allowed a limited span of time during the cycle of seasons. The brightness of summer also fades away with the course of time.

The sestet forms the concluding portion of the poem where the poet tries an alternative way to overpower the ravages of time. The poet pays a cordial tribute to the eternal appeal of his friend’s beauty which is not subjected to decay. The poet argues that death will never be able to take away his friend’s beauty as his verse possesses the power to capture and eternalise it. In this transient human world, his friend will live forever through his poetry.

What images of summer do we find in the poem “Shall I Compare Thee to a summer’s day?”

“William Shakespeare in Sonnet 18 uses different images of summer. He compares his beloved friend to a bright summer day and ultimately concludes that his friend is more lovely and more temperate than a summer’s day. In this sonnet, Shakespeare writes about the rough winds of summer which shake the soft buds of May vigorously. The poet indicates the bright and clear sky of summer which suddenly becomes dark and gloomy due to clouds. The poet uses contrasting images of summer throughout the poem. The happy image of summer is contrasted with dark clouds, rough winds which act as lifeless images of summer.

Rate this post