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Flashcards in Shall I Compare Thee Deck (17):


Sometimes too hot the eye of Heaven shines
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd


Everything will die/go downhill

And every fair from fair sometime declines
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimm'd


You won't though

But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st


Death won't get you bc...

Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st


You're forever

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee


Structure of the poem

Typical of a Shakespearean sonnet - 14 lines split into 3 quatrains + rhyming couplet at end
Iambic pentameter used throughout
Each line quite contained, punctuation at end of almost every one



Sonnet 18


First quatrain

- opens by asking should he compare lover to summer's day, expect that he'll say she's as lovely as it
- goes on to say she's even better (first 2 quatrains)
- begins to list flaws of summer


Second quatrain

- continues listing flaws of summer's day
- says everything beautiful stops being beautiful/dies at some point - either by chance or through nature


Third quatrain

- says his lover's beauty won't fade - they'll have an eternal summer
- says death will never brag of having captured lover, as they're immortalised in his verses


Rhyming couplet

- claims that as long as there are people on earth, lover's beauty will live on through people reading poem
- says his beloved has been given eternal life due to being immortalised in poem
- repetition of 'so long' + 'this' emphasise that this is forever


Explain quatrains 1 + 2

- dissing summer, saying lover is better
- speaking directly to lover --> adds sense of intimacy
- use quotes to explain + give examples
- e.g. "and every fair from fair sometimes declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd" - summer fades into autumn, so author doesn't want to compare lover to something so transient + imperfect as summer's day
- holds summer's day to harsh criticism, explains why lover is far superior


Explain quatrain 3

- has explained that lover is more beautiful than summer, and that summer isn't lasting, now explains why lover will last longer
- says beauty won't fade as it is immortalised in this poem
- even when they die, death can't boast of having control over them, as they'll live on in the lines Shakespeare wrote + their loveliness will be preserved for all time


Explain the rhyming couplet

- says that as long as there are people alive, his lover's beauty will live on
- bc as long as there are people to read it, beauty won't die



- loving
- warm



- simply expressed but in a powerful way
- about the transience of life/beauty - if liked to physical beings, will pass away, but if captured in poetry will live forever
- last two lines emphasise point of sonnet - beloved will live forever in these words



1. Iambic pentameter
- 10 syllables in each line
- unstressed syllable followed by stressed x5
- gives lovely fixed rhythm to sonnet, makes sentiments expressed seem more definite + convincing than looser structure would
- v. clear in last two lines
2. Rhyming
- ABAB format until last two lines, adds to lovely set rhythm
- last two lines are rhyming couplet, nice finish to poem as rounds up whole message in two neat little lines which rhyme with one another
3. Imagery
- beautiful imagery of summer's day
- give examples of lines etc.
4. Alliteration
- e.g. "by chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd"
5. Talking directly to lover --> sense of intimacy