LEARN A WORD A DAY

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sonnet 18: More Notes..

A Brief Synopsis
  • A sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines. This sonnet is made up of three quatrains and a concluding couplet. In each quatrain there are four lines, and in the couplet there are two lines
  • The poet compares the beauty of his beloved to that of a summer's day. The beauty of nature will fade with time, but not that of his beloved.
Literal Meaning

First quatrain
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

The poet asks himself whether his beloved should be compared to a summer's day. But he thinks that his beloved is more beautiful that the because her beauty is more enduring than the flowers that bloom in May. Furthermore, summer is sometimes too short and has no sense of endurance.

Second quatrain
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;

In summer, the sun is scorching hot. The glare of the sun is so strong and bad weather can shadow the sun. Beautiful things are often not lasting. Their beauty may fade and disappear through the course of time.

Third quatrain
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:

His beloved's beauty will not disappear or decrease because he has encapsulated her beauty in the form of a poem.

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


As long as there are people who read the sonnet, the beloved's beauty will be appreciated and continue to live on.

Setting
The poem is set most probably during summer, as the poet is comparing his beloved's beauty with the summer's day.

Themes

Appreciation of beauty
In the poem, the persona compares the beauty of his beloved to that of a summer's day, and says that his beloved is more beautiful. However, beauty does not refer to physical beauty only. Nature is also beautiful, as depicted in the poem.

Impermanence of beauty
Beauty is not something permanent. It will diminish through the course of time. However the persona's beloved's beautit.y will remain permanent through this sonnet, as long as people read it.

Moral Values
  • Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder
  • Every person has different opinion on the concept of beauty
  • Physical beauty is not as important as inner beauty. It is not lasting. The more beautiful thing is how the person perceives himself or herself.
Literary Devices
Metaphor
- And summer's lease hath all too short a date
(line 4)
The shortness of the summer season is compared to a lease.
- And sometimes too hot the eye of haven shines (line 5)
The phrase eyes of heaven refers to the sun that sometimes shines too brightly or too hot.

Personification
- Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May (line 3)
The wind is described as rough and harsh that shakes the flowers.

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Collection of SPM English Language Question Papers

2005
Terengganu Trial [Paper 1]

2007
Johor Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2] [Answers], Melaka Trial 2007 [Paper 1] [Paper 2], TIMES [Paper 1] [Paper 2] SPB [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

2008

Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2],
Trial
MRSM Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], SBP Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kelantan Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kedah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Johor Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Perlis Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sabah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sarawak Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Melaka Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

2009

Terengganu TOV [Paper 1] [Paper 2] Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2]
Melaka Trial , Johor Trial , Sabah Trial , Kedah Trial , Perlis Trial , Times , SBP , Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

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