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Word Count: 675
Shakespeare and His Sonnet 18 Shall I Compare Thee to a Summers Day William Shakespeare 1564-1616 English poet and playwright recognized in much of the world as the greatest of all dramatists is perhaps the most famous writer in the history of English literature By writing plays Shakespeare earned recognition from his late 16th and early 17th century contemporaries but he may have looked to poetry for enduring fame His poetic achievements include a series of 154 sonnets Many of the sonnets he wrote contain lines as well known as any in his plays One of the perennial themes of Western literaturethe brevity of lifeis given poignantly personal and highly original expression in many of these poems Shakespeares sonnets are arranged with three quatrains 4 lines and a couplet 2 lines This development was sufficiently original for the form to become known as the Shakespearean sonnet which employs a rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg The poet is challenged to express his profound emotions and thoughts on life death war and history in the condensed fourteen lines Sonnet 18 comes from The Sonnets of Shakespeare printed in 1609 Shall I compare thee to a summers day Thou art more lovely and more temperate Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May And summers lease hath all too short a date Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines And often is his gold complexion dimmed And every fair form fair sometime declines By chance or natures changing course untrimmed But thy eternal summer shall not fade Nor lose possession of that fair thou owst Nor shall death brag thou wandrest in his shade
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