Unveiling the Old and the Youth Beneath the Lines:
Comparison between Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 and Sonnet 73
What are the differences between an old man and a teenager? What are similar between them? Of all 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, numerous themes can be identified. Two of them, sonnet 18 – Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day and sonnet 73 – That time of year thou mayst in me behold, they both possess themes concerning with different stage of life. Sonnet 18 describes how lovely a teenager is while sonnet 73 is about an old man describing himself. In order to portrait the themes, Shakespeare uses a lot of images. It is interesting to look into both sonnets for words that create such images, in other words, the poetic diction of the sonnets. The words being chosen are clearly been through serious considerations; it seems that no other words can substitute them without changing the images or modifying the images. The poetic diction of the sonnets paints the images and thus the theme vividly and lively. Each of the sonnets is to be analyzed, identifying the images that introduce the specific stages of life in their themes. From learning the poetic diction and the images they convert, more about the theme of these two sonnets will be known. By coming across the similarities and comparing the differences of the images of these two sonnets, how the themes are being conveyed can be seen.
Sonnet 18, also known as “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day”, is about praising a young man. Shakespeare uses the summer to compare with the young man and finds the young man even better than summer. The first stanza starts with the question “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” showing readers there is going to be someone better or worse than summer. Then summer is being described, and some flaws of it are exposed. These flaws are not found in the young man; so the young man is not only as fabulous as summer is,...