Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's Sonnets book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How is Shakespeare's sonnet "To His Love" about his deep admiration and passionate love for his beloved?

Expert Answers info

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

calendarEducator since 2016

write7,222 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

If we assume Shakespeare himself is the speaker of the sonnet, then he displays his deep admiration for his lover by declaring that he (the beloved fair youth) is actually "more lovely and more temperate" than a summer day. On any summer day, the sun might shine too hot, or it might actually be dimmed by clouds; all natural beauty seems to fade eventually, because that is the way of the world. However, Shakespeare claims, his lover's beauty will never ever fade; nor will he ever stop being beautiful. All of these ideas express his deep admiration for his beauty and temperament.

His passionate love is expressed by the thought he has given to immortalizing his lover and his beauty in these "eternal lines" that he has written. His beauty, he seems to suggest, will grow in legend as a result of this poem, and as long as men live to see it, he will live on forever, as will his beauty.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write4,625 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Shakespeare's sonnet "To His Love" contains two of the most quoted lines in all of romantic love poetry.

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou are more lovely and more temperate.

This poem exudes the love which Shakespeare feels for his beloved. While the poem begins with positive thought, it changes suddenly in the second stanza. While the sonnet seems to take a negative turn, speaking to the process of aging and death, it is meant to bring hope to his love by providing a promise that their love will never end.

The poem is meant to provide reassurance to the beloved by providing a promise that their love will outlast all- even life.It seems that nothing, not dimmed complexions or declined fairness, will stop the love between the two.

This poem simply speaks to the lengths which love can survive. Shakespeare is telling his beloved that there is nothing that can extinguish their love- a true statement to the admiration and passion he feels for her.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial