William Shakespeares Sonnet 18 is one of one hundred fifty four poems of fourteen lines written in Iambic Pentameter. These sonnets exclusively employ the rhyme scheme, which has come to be called the Shakespearean Sonnet. The sonnets are composed of an octet and sestet and typically progress through three quatrains to a concluding couplet. It also contains figurative language and different poetic devices used to create unique effects in his sonnets. Shakespeares sonnets consist of words constructed in a certain manner or form, thoughts, motion and poetic devices.
One way to interpret the sonnet is to think of thee that Shakespeare is referring to as a person. Following that line of thought the sonnet could read that Shakespeare is in love with someone who is consistently beautiful. He tries to compare this person to summer but summer is not as beautiful or constant. This person in Shakespeares eyes will never grow old and ugly and not even Death can say that his persons end is near. In line 1, he starts the poem with a question. He asks if he should compare the person to summers day but ends up not doing so realizing that the person is superior.
In the following 7 lines of this sonnet, he begins to show the differences between the person and a summers day. He explains that the persons characteristics is moderate and comfortable and has favorable qualities in line 2. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, (line 3) means that the rough winds of the summer can destroy the buds of the flowers and his particular person has no such trait. In the forth line of the sonnet, Shakespeare justifies how summer is too short and ow his lovers beauty does not end like this specific season does.
In the next two lines, lines 5 and 6, the superb poet interpret the summers temperature. He explains how the summer can be extremely hot and uncomfortable. He also describes how the sun can be dulled due to the covering of clouds. It can obscure or shadow the earth, unlike the shining beauty of his lover. Although Sonnet 18 is an extended metaphor, line 7 has a literal meaning that explains itself: And every fair from fair sometime declines, With fair meaning beautiful, he is saying that verything that is beautiful must come to an end and that all beauty fades except the one of his lover.
The next line is an example of the reasons why beauty fades. Chance makes beauty fade by something dreadful happening. He says that natures changing course untrimmed meaning that the seasons changing direction, path or time can deteriorate beauty. In line 8, the turning point of the sonnet, Shakespeare specifies that something is changing by using the simple word But. He goes on to explain that the persons beauty will not die. He itemizes eternal to mean that the persons charm will live forever.
You are not going to lose possession of that beauty that you own, Shakespeare explains in line 10. In the eleventh line of the sonnet, he says that Death wont be able to brag that he has possession of the persons beauty. In other words, the beloved will never die. At the end of the sonnet, he writes about eternal lines which symbolizes that the beloveds beauty will grow in this poem forever. In the last two lines of this poem, lines 13 and 14, the poet means that as long as people read this poem, that the beloveds beauty will live.
He also describes how the person will live in the spirit and beauty of the poem. It could also represent the poem itself, which keeps the person beautiful This sonnet has a basic form or structure. In this sonnet there are fourteen lines divided into two clear parts, an opening octet which has 8 lines and a closing sestet which has 6 lines with a fixed rhyme scheme: ababcdcdefefgg. The octave presents the narrative, states the proposition or raises a question. The sestet drives home the narrative by making an abstract comment, applies the proposition, or solves the problem.
In Sonnet 18 the octave says that the beloved is better than a summers day. It develops the idea of this sonnet. The sestet then explains why the beloved is better than a summers day. The sestet also states that the lover will live forever. Instead of the octave and sestet divisions, this sonnet characteristically embodies four divisions. Three quatrains of four lines each with a rhyme scheme of its own, and a rhymed couplet. In this case, the rhyme scheme of the quatrains is: abab cdcd efef gg. The couplet at the end is usually a commentary on the foregoing.