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ENG 1124 Engaging With Literature

tag 0 Download 0 Pages / 0 Words tag 18-06-2022
  • Course Code: ENG1124
  • University: University Of Ottawa
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  • Country: Canada


Shakespeare’s sonnet 18 is written in an iambic parameter that contains the four quatrains and one rhyming couplet (Rosenberg 41). The sonnet depicts the theme of love and beauty, which are affected by the time constraints. The preservation of love through poetry is illustrated much attractively. However, there are some of the criticisms presented regarding this sonnet. James Boyd-White claimed that the sonnet is more about ‘self-glorification’ than the expressive love (Jian 13). However, after reading the poem, an individual can visualize the beauty and the love illustrated by Shakespeare.

The comparisons, imageries, rhetorical assumptions, and similes are  used to portray the inner feelings of describing the beauty of the young man (Shen and Fang 102). Simultaneously, the poetry knocks down the glory of love, which is harmed by the inevitable time. The quote, “shall I compare thee  to a summer’s day” is flattering the summer’s day, which is a pure beauty to mankind. In the next line, “Thou art more lovely and more temperate” is bringing the criticism of the beauty of summer. He stated that even though the beauty of summer is praiseworthy, it is often spoiled by the strong winds and stay here for a short span of time (Ma 110). Therefore, the beauty of the young man is more pure since it does not fade away with time. The glory of the inner soul always remains expressive and praiseworthy (Shen and Fang 102). However, in spite of the different criticisms presented on this poem, the sonnet is a beautiful illustration of the love, beauty, and time (Jian 13).

Notes on Convention

Shakespeare’s sonnet is conveying the themes of beauty, which is significantly affected by the time. The presentation of these themes in an attractive way has made the poem worth reading to the people. The illustration has the depth that can make an individual visualize the explanation in their imaginations. It should thus be regarded as the love poem.


Jian, Z. H. A. N. G. "The Great Shakespeare: a Eternal Theme: A Literature Review of Researches on the Themes of Shakespeare's Sonnets." Foreign Language and Literature 1 (2014): 013.

Ma, Chunli. "The Physical Beauty in Shakespeare’s Sonnets." English Language and Literature Studies 6.2 (2016): 110.

Rosenberg, Jessica. "The Point of the Couplet: Shakespeare's Sonnets and Tusser's A Hundreth Good Pointes of Husbandrie." ELH 83.1 (2016): 1-41.

Shen, Yuan, and Fang Liu. "A Thematic Study of Shakespeare’s Sonnets." English Language and Literature Studies 6.2 (2016): 102.

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