Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What is the mood and tone of Shakespeare's Sonnet 18?

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At first glance, the mood and tone of Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 is one of deep love and affection. It is highly sentimental and full of feeling. This sonnet may seem at first to simply praise the beauty of the poet's love interest. However, there is also a subtle hint of frustration in the poet's tone. He feels that the metaphor of a summer's day falls short of his goal of praising his love interest. Shakespeare seems to be implying that nature has certain limitations when comparing it to the emotions of people.

In a way, this sets a tone that focuses on the poet himself. Unlike most of the other sonnets, Shakespeare makes the speaker of this poem self-aware. While the poet praises his love's beauty, he also praises his own poetic ability in a way. He makes it clear that the beautiful nature of his love will live forever (unlike a summer's day) because the very words of this sonnet are so wonderful they will last forever.

This sense that a poem can grant immortality gives it a dramatic air of...

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