Give a critical appreciation of Shakespeare's sonnet 18

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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First let me talk about its structure.  Even if you are not a fan of poetry or Shakespeare, you can admire the craftsmanship with which he wrote his sonnets. Because it is a sonnet, it is a 14 line poem. That's mandatory. Depending on the sonnet type, rhyme scheme can vary, but a Shakespearean sonnet has the following rhyme scheme: ababcdcdefefgg. That scheme will break the poem into three quatrains followed by a couplet. The meter will be iambic pentameter. That means each line has 10 syllables. That's amazing to me that poets can do that. It's even more amazing that they can follow an unstressed/stressed pattern within each line. And rhyme!  

The poem itself is about Shakespeare comparing his beloved to a summer's day. Well, actually he spends quite a bit of time writing about why summer isn't all that great. It's hot, it's windy, and it ends too quickly. He tells his beloved that she is much more tempered than the crazy summer. Shakespeare then goes on to write that even though summer will fade, his beloved's beauty will never fade like summer does. In fact, her memory and beauty will live on forever. At least as long as people can read anyway, since he wrote about it in this sonnet. 

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

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