Sonnet 18 Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Start Your Free Trial

Give a commentary on  the poem "Sonnet 18" by William Shakespeare.  

Expert Answers info

englishprof1564 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write135 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

Sonnet 18 is one of Shakespeare's best-known poems. It employs an extended metaphor throughout, as described in the first line—he compares his beloved to a summer's day. In every respect, the lover comes off best.

The first quatrain praises the lover as "more lovely" and "more temperate," then introduces the idea that the summer can be troubled by bad weather and is far too short: "summer's lease hath all too short a date."

In the second quatrain, Shakespeare continues to describe how summer is imperfect: the sun can be too hot or be covered by clouds. He then brings in the broader idea that all beautiful things will ultimately decay: "and every fair from fair sometimes declines," whether through "chance" or through nature's inherent progression towards death.

The third quatrain, though, introduces the idea of his beloved being immortal: "but thy eternal summer shall not fade." His lover won't become any less beautiful over time, nor will death be able to "brag" that he has defeated him,...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 703 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

carol-davis eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2004

write1,291 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial