“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”- Whom does the poet compare his friend to? What are the qualities that make the person superior to summer?

The poet compares his dear friend to a summer day.

William Shakespeare begins the sonnet with a question addressed to his beloved as he wants to compare his friend to a bright summer day. He feels that his friend is more lovely and more temperate than a radiant summer day. Next, the poet declares that the summer’s beauty is inconsistent as the sun is sometimes too hot and sometimes dimmed by clouds. The rough wind which blows during summer vigorously shakes the soft blossoms. Thus the beauty of summer is imperfect and short-lived. Whereas the beauty of the poet’s adored friend is not subjected to decay. Shakespeare has immortalised his friend’s beauty through the lines of his poem. As long as men live they will remember his friend through his verses. Therefore these qualities make the poet’s much-loved friend superior to summer.

“Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed;”

What is the figure of speech used in ‘eye of heaven’? What makes the dim? What does the poet imply in the above lines?

‘Eye of heaven’ is an example of periphrasis. The ‘eye of heaven’ refers to the sun.

The ‘gold complexion’ means the golden rays of the sun. No natural object is beyond decay or change. This inevitability dims the rays of the sun. 

The ‘gold complexion’ of the sun brings light to the earth. The intensity of the rays of the sun varies according to weather conditions. The sun, no doubt, shines in its splendour and glory in the summer season. Sometimes its rays become scorching and unbearable. But the bright, sparkling rays of the sun do not remain forever. The rays become dim, every now and then. Every natural object loses its vitality and lustre with the passing of time. Such unchangeable loss occurs due to the impact of the ravages of time. The line implies that the beauty of the poet’s friend is beyond the natural process of decay. His beauty will neither be dimmed nor fade away with the changing of time. He will remain beautiful forever and his beauty will withstand the destructions caused by time.

Rate this post