“Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?”
Shakespeare’s sonnet “Shall I compare thee to
a summer’s day?” is among the most popular sonnets
of the author. This sonnet is very appealing as it touches
something that is dear to every single soul – youth,
as the time of hopes, dreams, the time of perception that
it will never end. But…a summer day is never too long:
“...and summer’s lease hath all too short a date”.
Shakespeare in this sonnet describes what youth is and shows
the reader that it is something eternal that will never die,
but will always exist. The author tries to find the comparison
that can adequately depict the immortality of youth and its
beauty: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”.
Shakespeare makes an accent on a beautiful summer day which
everybody likes – it is strongly enjoyed, but it ends
up too soon. So the comparison with a summer day does not
help the author: “Thou art more lovely and more temperate…”.
Shakespeare draws a nice parallel with using the image of
the “summer day”. Everyone gets too hot sometimes
during summer day: “sometime too hot the eye of heaven
shines” … but during long winter it is summer
days that people recall the most. Shakespeare provides the
reader with the notion of youth being a great gift of “nature’s
changing course”. As the time goes by people get older
and die, but the youth is immortal. It lives forever: “but
thy eternal summer shall not fade” and “nor shall
Death brag thou wander’st in his shade”.
The sonnet contains a very strong message to the reader as
it tells between the lines that the real youth is in the heart
of the person and will last as long as the person lives: “so
long as men can breathe, or eyes can see”. Shakespeare
reveals youth as the life-giving entity, maybe because as
long as one is young inside, he has the power to live and
be happy in his life.
Shakespeare seems to have revealed a unique wisdom for himself
and shares it with the reader. As the world around changes
the author tries to “hide” the summer day into
his lines so it would continue making people happy. Every
time the reader reads the sonnet the summer day comes to life
and youth touches the person. Yes, the summer day is never
long enough, is never fresh enough but for Shakespeare it
is the reflection of his youth, happiness and love. This sonnet
appeals to the very soul of the reader telling that it is
never the time for being desperate, because a summer day will
repeat once again and “so long lives this, and this
gives life to thee”.
The sonnet is very impressive as it takes the reader to a
beautiful summer day: the sun is shining brightly, its hot,
the nature has covered everything with its “flower carpet”
and young people are running around, playing, falling in love.
It is this day that they will remember the rest of their life
and associate with their youth.