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

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johnny012294 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 28, 2012 at 2:07 AM via web

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

 

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enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted January 29, 2012 at 11:02 PM (Answer #1)

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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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