In Shakespeare's Sonnet #18, why is the "eye of heaven" neither constant nor trustworthy?  


Sonnet 18

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enotechris's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #1)

Shakespeare of course is alluding to the Sun as the "eye of heaven," sometimes shining too hot, and sometimes dimmed. The variableness reflects actual real-world weather conditions.  This sonnet, one of his most famous and beloved, has a first line of "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"  As beautiful as a beautiful summer day may be, he does not necessarily wish to make the comparison with his beloved.  -- the sunlight, like the season, is not constant and is quite changeable, and therefore not trustworthy. In fact, his beloved is beyond the beauty of a summer day, because she possesses an "eternal summer," which, being eternal is not variable.


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