1. How does William Shakespeare immortalize his friend’s beauty in Sonnet 18?
Discuss the theme of “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day”.
Ans: – Sonnet No 18 of Shakespeare’s sonnet series deals with the theme of immortalization of his friend’s beauty. To Shakespeare, the beauty of his friend is better than summer from every aspect. To prove this statement, he has referenced a few examples. Though starting his sonnet by a metaphorical question, he discards his question by saying that his friend’s beauty is more lovely and temperate than a summer’s day. He says that the lovely elements of summer’s do not last long. The sun, sometimes, gets too hot and sometimes gets dimmed being covered by the clouds. He also says that the rough winds of summer spoil the beauty of ‘darling bud of May’. In the second quatrain, Shakespeare tells about the eternal truth that the beauty of everything is ultimately a subject to decay. He thinks it is nearly impossible to immortalize his friend’s beauty, but then he realizes that it can only be done by preserving his friend’s beauty in the lines of his verse. His verse is imperishable and therefore his friend’s beauty will be immortal.
Ans: – Here the word ‘this’ refers to the verse ( Sonnet 18 ) written by William Shakespeare
The poet’s friend, whose beauty has been celebrated in Sonnet 18, is referred to as ‘thee’ in the line mentioned in the question.
William Shakespeare describes the ways to immortalize the beauty of his friend in his Sonnet 18. He realizes that it cannot be done only by comparing the beauty with summer. He knows that the only way to do it is by preserving his friend’s beauty in the immortal lines of verse. The entire human race will read his poetry as long as the exists on earth and thus they will re-experience his friend’s beauty. This is how his friend’s beauty will be celebrated forever and even time cannot destroy it.