Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Discuss the portrayal of beauty in the Sonnets - 18,30,127,130 of Shakespeare.

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Within Shakespeare's sonnets, there are contradictions and complexities that certainly resist generalization on any topic or theme. Still, the portrayal of beauty and love prevail through most of the verses, sometimes in comparison, sometimes in contrast.

One example of contrast is that of Sonnets XVIII and CXXX. Sonnet XVIII, a Petrarchan sonnet, is an extended comparison of the young man's beauty to that of a phenomenon of nature:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate....
...thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;

In the Petrarchan manner, the beginning couplets present an argument that the final six lines answer. Unlike the season of summer which will pass, the...

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