Shall I compare thee...? William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

  • Ideas- what is the poet trying to put across
  • Language- words and phrases used to make the poem more captivating
  • Imagery- what are the pictures conjured up
  • Structure- rhyme scheme, set out of poem
  • Poets' attitude/conclusion
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  • Created by: alex
  • Created on: 17-05-10 19:08


  • How art can conquer time, because the young man's beauty in which Shakespeare is describing will be preserved in this sonnet for as long as people are alive to read it.
  • Traditional form of poetry, therefore this form of poetry is love.
  • Beauty is compared to the transient beauty of nature. "Thy eternall Sommer shall not fade".
  • Comparing how the beauty of the young man will live on for ever and how death will not be able to boast that he is coming nearer, because in this poetry you will be immortalised. "Nor shall death brag thou wandr'st in his shade".
  • Time slowly destroys beautiful things however his beauty will never fade, "And every faire from faire some-time declines"
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  • "Shall I compare thee to a Summers day?", is simple direct praise in order to create a certain poignancy.
  • "too hot the eye of heaven shines", is a metaphor in order to describe the sun in summer as being to hot, and her beauty being to much.
  • Personification is used in "his gold complexion dim'd" as it is giving an inanimate object, the sun, human attributes.
  • Death is also personified "Nor shall death brag ... his shade."
  • "natures changing course untrim'd", shows that beauty/nature can't be controlled, everything dies.
  • "So long as men can breath or eyes can see, so long lives this, and this gives life to thee". What Shakespeare is trying to say is that so long as man can breathe and eyes can read this verse you will be and remain beautiful within these lines of poetry. It is monosyllabic as he forcefully but confidently expresses faith in his statement
  • Every line has it's own self contained idea. Each line emphasises the impact of the subject- the man's beauty.
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  • There is an optimistic feel to the poem as it has the power to defy time!
  • Shakespeare mocks the idea that beauty of nature is eternal.
  • "more temperate", a mild and balanced season
  • It shows how summer can be a tempting season "Rough windes do shake the darling buds of Maie", however they will remain through thick and thin.
  • "Sommers lease hath all too short a date", shows that summer is to short a season in order to enjoy all of its beauty.
  • Shakespeare created the image that the person who is being described is and will always be beautiful. "thy eternall Sommer shall not fade, nor loose possession of that faire thou ow'st".
  • He shows how nature will eventually loose its beauty through the passing of time, but this mans' beauty is eternal. "natures changing course untrim'd".
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  • Sonnet form meaning three quatrains and a rhyming couplet.
  • Rhyme scheme is ABAB, in the last two lines it's CC
  • Lines 1-4 = Q+A
  • Lines 5-9 = continues the comparison of summers day to him stating he is more beautiful
  • Line 9 = "But" marks a change in idea known as a volta
  • Lines 10-14 = describes superiority of his beauty over a period of time
  • Lines 13-14 = Man's beauty will be immortalised in these lines... as long as men exist.
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