What does the speaker of "Sonnet 18" say about summer?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

William Shakespeare's famous "Sonnet 18" uses summer as an extended metaphor, comparing his beloved to "a summer's day" (1).  Although summer is portrayed as fair, "lovely and temperate," the speaker notes that summer is not without fault.  Summer often seems too short and occasionally too hot to the speaker.  The worst aspect of summer in the natural world, according to the speaker, is its brevity.  Here the speaker notes that his beloved is like "eternal summer" which "shall not fade Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest"  (11-12). 

The speaker feels that his lover has all the best qualities that summer has to offer, and their love and her beauty will remain unchanged, no matter the season.