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Word Count: 605
Sonnet 18 Shall I compare thee to a summers day -- William Shakespeare Mood Cheerful praising awestruck confident Theme True beauty is immortalized through art and thus prevails despite the ravages of time Structure Lines 1-9 10-14 In sonnet 18 William Shakespeare reveals that through art true beauty is immortalized and thus surmounts the ravages of time The poet expresses an awestruck confident and praising attitude towards his subject to convey his idea that his mistress is more beautiful than anything in this world He is enforcing that his art is outside the world of time and to validate his point he embodies the eternity of his ladys beauty through the permanence of poetry In lines 1 to 9 of the sonnet Shakespeare states his initial question Shall I compare thee to a summers day and this statement provides the basis for the rest of the poem The praise and awe is most evident in these lines as he reveals all the qualities the mistress possesses In lines 10 to 14 the poet makes a confident assertion as to her eternal summer and reinforces the fact that her beauty will remain forever in art In the first line of the poem the poet asks a rhetorical question to establish what he is comparing his mistress to He is taking something already regarded as beautiful and is rising above it to begin the praise of his lady The extent of her beauty is immediately illustrated as she is more lovely and more temperate than summer itself By this the poet suggests that she is more gentle and restrained whereas a summers day may have violent excesses in store The beautiful flowers present at the beginning of summer are shaken by the rough winds and this reveals that the poet thinks of summer and the beauty present during its time as being too brief its lease hath all too short a date As
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