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What is an example of personification in Sonnet 18?

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sharms | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 4, 2008 at 4:53 AM via web

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What is an example of personification in Sonnet 18?

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malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted May 4, 2008 at 8:18 AM (Answer #1)

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The sonnet goes like this:

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:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

The idea of the sun having a "gold complexion" (line 6) is personification, as is the idea that death can brag about the reader wandering in his shade (line 11).  In addition, the final line, referring to the sonnet having life is also personification.

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted May 4, 2008 at 10:35 AM (Answer #2)

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Another example of personification is "eye of heaven."  Just wanted to add that one. :-)

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