Download Sonnet 18 Study Guide

Subscribe Now


The primary two characters in this sonnet by William Shakespeare are the speaker, a poet, generally assumed to be Shakespeare himself, and the subject of the poem, the beloved figure.

It is generally assumed that the first 126 sonnets in Shakespeare's sonnet cycle are all addressed to one person, a mysterious Fair Youth. This person is sometimes referred to as Mr W.H., as this person was mentioned in the dedication to the sonnets when they were first published. However, while many have speculated, nobody knows who he was.

Certainly, however, we can deduce much about him from this poem. The speaker describes him as "more lovely" than summer, and having fewer downsides than summer, too, which can be too hot, or too dim, whereas the beloved is...

(The entire section is 257 words.)