Shall I Compare thee to a Summer’s Day (Sonnet-18)

By William Shakespeare

Line to line Analysis


            Thee: probably earl of Southampton or earl of Pembroke of whom Shakespeare was very fond off.

Line- 2

More lovely and more temperate: Shakespeare considered the summer of nature as beautiful but it is temporary where as his friend’s beauty is more lovely and more permanent.

            Temperate: the summer sometimes expresses soothing attitude under the cloudy atmosphere which is naturally temporary whereas the temperance of his friend is more permanent.


            Rough wind: In the period of summer sometimes there arises of violent storm which distress the beauty of nature and summer by shaking off the symbolic blossoms.

            May: symbolic expressions of full bloom of summer.

Darling buds of May – the beautiful, much loved buds of the early summer; favourite flowers.


Lease:  span of time

All too short a date: very temporary


            Eye of heaven: the Sun

Line- 6

His: Sun

Gold complexion: sparkling shinning

Dimm’d: diffused. That means beauty of summer fluctuates with the course of nature, but the beauty of his friend will remain permanent for ever.

Line- 7

And every fair from fair: sometimes due to summer’s whim the beauty of a beautiful thing is lost.

Declines: trim, shake off

Line- 8

By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed: like nature human life can lost the beauty at the facing an accident accidentally or after death as a course of life.

Line- 9

            Eternal summer: eternal beauty of his friend.

            Fade: the beauty of his friend will never decline unlike the beauty of summer.

Line- 10

That fair: the beauty with which his friend is destined.

Line- 11

Brag: vanity, bright

Death brag: here Shakespeare slither the perennial power of death which can decline the beauty of everything in his dark shade. Here comes the win of beauty over death and time.

Line- 12

            When in eternal times: the verses will be eternal as it would be read down the generation who would come across the beauty of his friend. Thus he will be immortalised.

            Thou growest: the beauty of his friend will ever be increasing.

Line- 13

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see: For as long as humans live and breathe upon the earth, for as long as there are seeing eyes on the earth.

Line- 14

            This: the poems which will be immortal forever.

            This gives life to thee: the immortal poem would give immortality to you.

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