Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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I need some help writing an essay comparing "Sonnet 18" with "Sonnet 75." The essay must include an introduction; an examination of themes, figures of speech, and structure; my opinion on these sonnets; and a conclusion (all in six paragraphs).      

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Marietta Sadler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I can't of course write this essay for you, but I shall try to give you some ideas that will help you write the essay yourself.

The main theme in both poems is the theme of love. In "Sonnet 18," love is presented as beautiful, and the beauty of love is presented as so precious that the speaker wants to preserve it forever in his poetry. In "Sonnet 75," love is presented as essential. The love that the speaker feels is, for him, as essential as "showers are to the ground," or as "food [is] to life."

Both poems also use lots of figures of speech. In "Sonnet 18," for example, the speaker uses a metaphor when he writes that his loved one's beauty is an "eternal summer [which] shall not fade." In "Sonnet 75," the speaker uses similes when he says, as noted above, that love is as essential as "food [is] to life," or as "showers are to the ground."

In terms of structure, both poems open with a problem that the speaker has and conclude, in the final two lines, with either a solution to that problem or a consequence of it. In "Sonnet 18," the speaker's problem is that the beauty of his loved one is temporary. The solution he thinks of, at the end of the poem, is that he will preserve his loved one's beauty within his poetry.

In "Sonnet 75," the speaker's problem is that he is too dependent upon, and perhaps too obsessed and besotted with, his loved one. The consequence of this, revealed in the final two lines of the poem, is that he "pine[s] and surfeit[s] day by day."

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