Shall I compare you to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate:| You are more lovely and more constant:| Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,| Rough winds shake the beloved buds of May| And summer’s lease hath all too short a date: | And summer is far too short:| Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,| At times the sun is too hot,| And often is his gold complexion dimm’d; | Or often goes behind the clouds;| And every fair from fair sometime declines,| And everything beautiful sometime will lose its beauty,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;| By misfortune or by nature’s planned out course. But thy eternal summer shall not fade | But your youth shall not fade,| Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;| Nor will you lose the beauty that you possess;| Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,| Nor will death claim you for his own,| When in eternal lines to time thou growest:| Because in my eternal verse you will live forever. | So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,| So long as there are people on this earth,| So long lives this and this gives life to thee. So long will this poem live on, making you immortal| My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;| My mistress’s eyes are nothing like the sun;| Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;| Coral is far more red than her lips;| If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; | If snow is white, then her breasts are a brownish gray;| If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. | If hairs are like wires, hers are black and not golden. I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,| I have seen damask roses, red and white [streaked],|
But no such roses see I in her cheeks; | But I do not see such colors in her cheeks;| And in some perfumes is there more delight | And some perfumes give more delight| Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. | Than the horrid breath of my mistress. | I love to hear her speak, yet well I know | I love to hear her speak, but I know| That music hath a far more pleasing sound;| That music has a more pleasing sound. I grant I never saw a goddess go;| I’ve never seen a goddess walk;| My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:| But I know that my mistress walks only on the ground. | And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare | And yet I think my love as rare| As any she belied with false compare. | As any woman who has been misrepresented by | The sonnet 18 is a Shakespeare’s early love poem which is about affection of a young man to his beloved. It starts with the genuine question, “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? ” The speaker is thinking about his lover’s beauty rather than putting her poem in a conventional love poem formula.
Then, he points out her lover’s beauty was more beautiful and constant than a summer day; her beauty was eternal and would be preserved in the lines of this poem. However, Sonnet 130 is a more convincing love poem because it is more descriptive and realistic in depicting his lover which shows that his love is more sincere and everlasting. Sonnet 18 is about the feeling of perfection of his lover’s beauty while sonnet 130 is about the real appearances of her mistress. In sonnet 18 the speaker says, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate:” Although summer is pleasant season, the speaker never talks about how his lover is like a summer day nor how she was more lovely.
He did not give life to his lover because we can use this poem to mostly every woman in the world; he does not specifically describe his lover. In sonnet 130, the speaker explicit states what his mistress looks like. The speaker says, “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;/Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;/If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; /If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. It explicitly describes his lover in an honest way. Although love poems often use sun, snow and beautiful objects to praise the beauty of their subject, realistic love is not about an idealized sense of beauty. A person cannot love another one simply because they are physically beautiful. We think that the women with red lips, white skin and gold hair are beautiful, but does it mean the women that having “not so” red lips, brownish skin, and black hair are not beautiful? Beauty is subjective. When people love someone, they would define beauty by his/her standard.
By describing in detail of his lover’s appearance, the speaker of sonnet 130 really know his lover. Love is not only about the feeling of a warm sunny summer day, but know a person as a distinguish individual. Sonnet 130 make his lover feel special and superior because the speaker pay quite attention to her actual appearance, and honestly writes it down in a poem. It also gives her the sense of security because she knows he loves her for who she is and she does not need to pretend to be a perfect figure nor be an everlasting summer day. Sonnet 130 ses reality to prove the speakers love while sonnet 18 uses exaggeration. Sonnet 18 illustrates only the speaker’s love for his beloved’s beauty while in sonnet 130 illustrates more sincere love for her mistress even though she is not perfect. In sonnet 18, the speaker claim his lover was eternal by saying, “By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;/But thy eternal summer shall not fade /Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;/ Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,” The speaker praise that her beauty stronger than the nature.
Although the speaker values her beauty greatly and even believed her is beauty has the power to overturn the nature, it is only his wish and imagination that her beauty would not change. It will not be convincing to a woman since they consciously know that appearance will change. His lover will feel that the speaker only focuses on her beauty, but not anything else. In sonnet 130, the speaker states, “I love to hear her speak”. The speaker loves her thinking, her opinions and her intellects. The speaker values her thought which is not very common even in current society.
Relationship is about equality and respect. Many men treat women as an object that has nothing inside. Even in sonnet 18, the speaker compares his lover as an eternal summer which also an object. Then, the speaker says, “I grant I never saw a goddess go;/My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:” . The speaker wants to compare his mistress with a goddess as many sonnets do, but he admits that he never saw one. It mocks that other poets are dishonest which compare their lover to a figure they never see.
He emphasized the word “my mistress” which shows that he takes pride that this woman is his mistress as while as the ways his mistress is like. He shows that this poem is about her mistress but not anybody else, not even goddess can compare with his mistress. He cares only his mistress which makes her even superior to a goddess. He shows that although her mistress is not an immortal figure, but her mistress is special for him. Then, speaker of sonnet 130 transits his understanding of her mistress to his confession of love while in sonnet 18, the speaker transits his lover’s beauty to mortality.
The speaker of sonnet 18 uses poetry to eternalize his lover while in sonnet 130, the speaker shows that his love for her is eternal. In the end of sonnet 18, the speaker says, “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, /So long lives this and this gives life to thee”. The life of the subject will be an endless summer, but only because the speaker has immortalized her in this poem, and only if people continue to read these verses. It makes the readers feel that the poem itself is greater than the subject.
The poem builds up this subject with eternal beauty and the subject only lives in the poem. However, this poem is for a living woman, and she is not living by her beauty or by the poem. Every woman knows this poem cannot real give immorality to them because the readers do not even know who the subject is. Not only the woman reading this poem cannot relate herself to this poem, buy she also will feel the speaker’s love is unrealistic and superficial and will not last long. In contract, in sonnet 130, the speaker claims that “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare”.
His claim is convincing because in previous lines, he honestly depict his mistress and we expect he is honest when he says that he loves her. Furthermore, if his love for her is not because she is idealized beautiful since she is not, then he must love her because of her which we define as true love. His love would not fate with changing of appearance or time. His mistress would feel that she has the speaker’s heart forever. Sonnet 130 well proved the speaker’s love for her mistress; his love is about understanding and respect; his love is strong and everlasting.
In contrast, sonnet 18 is more about the speaker’s passion to his lover’s beauty than his love for her as a whole individual. Many people say romantic love would last long. It is because that when people know each other well, their flaws would appear, and they are intolerance to these flaws. They would try everything to change each other to the way they want, but they most likely fail. Everyone is difference and not perfect, so when people love someone, they should acceptance their flaws.