Analysis of the Use of Literary Devices in Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Sonnet 18 was written by William Shakespeare, that articulates and accentuates the sentiment of passion and love. The poem expresses the poet’s endearment and perpetual devotion of his subject and how the subject surpasses all tangible beauty. He explicitly expresses this notion through the manipulation and application of figurative language, poetic devices and imagery. The poet discusses their subject possessing characteristics surpassing nature and how nature and its seasons of summer/spring is perennial. The poet elaborates on the splendor of art flora, the timelessness of love and admiration. Change is an inevitable prospect, yet it does not hinder the poet’s veneration for their subject of love, as the subject exceeds nature and any tangible notion of time.

Love and admiration are palpable emotions that are expansively elaborated in the poem. He smothers the subject with adulation, inquiring with a simile, “Shall I compare thee to a summers day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate,” Inquiring whether a comparison of this subject to a summers day is appropriate or worthy of an analogy, as the poets subject possesses attributes that transcend that of a beautiful identity, in which this is supported by the manipulation of figurative language. The use of metaphors is a discerning technique integrated. The author purposefully manipulates this feature to guide the audience’s consideration of the sentiment of the poem.

“But thy eternal summer shall not fade,” he cultivates the use of a metaphor that does inveterate the main human subject and summer will habitually prevail and the timelessness of love is perpetual, despite emotional destruction by nature and the inevitable change of season, to which the use of personification does inveterate this notion. A marvelous use of personification is evident in line four utilized to enhance the imagery consigned, “And summers lease hath all too short a date,” Physically, summer cannot lease time, objects or tangible substances, yet its inferred that he feels as though the time summer has chartered, is too brief and he qualms that there will be detrimental effects succeeding the aftermath of summer. In line 11, “Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,” the poet establishes the perception that the sonnet itself is an assurance that this person’s magnificence will be unrelenting, and their distinction defies the claws of death. Assonance and repetition are noteworthy attributes within most lines, which contribute to the constitution and soundscape: Shake/may eye/shines fair from fair chance/changing. This device remains consistent and ensures engagement and diversity within the devices utilized.

Sonnet 18 depicted the intensity of spring/summer, the environment associated with these seasons and his perennial admiration to the subject, yet I felt discontented with the conclusion of the mellow and heartfelt season. The imagery and use of figurative language bequeath a delightful sentiment, one robust, passionate and eternal. The author accomplished his goal of embracing and elaborating on his admiration for the subject of his affection. Undeniably, he sought to articulate this powerful sentiment and invoke these feelings within the audience. This concentrated excitement is to be perceived as exhilarating or heartfelt and mellow. The subject’s reason of being is evidently to indicate that in one’s mentality, benevolence and love are in the ingenuity and generation of thought.

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