What metaphors and symbols are used in sonnet 18 by Shakespeare? I thought about the summer as a symbol for youth.

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blacksheepunite eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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My colleagues have answered this very well. I'd like to add a few comments.

Summer traditionally represents the time in life when we are fully blooming. Spring is the virtuous youth. The metaphor he is playing with is the traditional notion that we all live the seasons of man, and that we have the most promise in the spring and are at our hottest (ripest) in the summer. As my colleagues have pointed out, the metaphor breaks down: it is too hot in the summer, while she is temperate. He can't compare her to a rosebud either, because they are vulnerable and apt to be destroyed. These two metaphors...

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lucarisso | Student

Why do you use "She" when talking about this sonnet? Everyone knows it was addressed to a boy! Why this prudery?

wiseguy91 | Student

Actually most you are right. Shakespeare  wanootropic righting to man or a woman but his bisexual wife

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ananddhhddd | Student

nice answers ..

thanks all of you!!!

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codruta | Student

I would like to make a correction to the answers you gave.  As you all know Shakespeare published 154 sonnets. The first 126 are adressed to "The fair Lord", thus to a MAN and not to a WOMAN!!! The dedication on the volume says: "To W.H." who critics speculate was either William Herbert Earl of Pembroke or Henry Wriothesley.

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