Last updated: August 7, 2019
Topic: FashionBeauty
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William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, enhances the idea of beauty higher than that of nature, making nature’s seemingly flawless character appear dull compared to the beloved. Through means of form, imagery, and figurative language, Shakespeare constantly expresses how his unnamed lover possesses immortal beauty that far surpasses a summer’s day.
In the first quatrain, Shakespeare begins by comparing his beloved to a summer’s day, but soon after, he instead offers reasons as to why the comparison is not deserving. Beginning with the example, “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,” (Shakespeare 3) Shakespeare begins to unveil all the imperfections that summer possesses in order to further distance the beauty of his beloved. During the month of May, the beginning of summer has commenced and the weather gradually begins to get warm as well as flower starting to fully blossom. However, Shakespeare implies that the images of “rough winds” blowing away all the petals of the beautiful flowers that resemble goodness and virtue, are now vanished. The significance of this claim may serve as a metaphor in order to indicate that “rough winds” are symbolic of trouble or obstacles that nature cannot manage; however the unnamed lover is not stirred by these troubles.  In his perception, his beloved presents no flaws nor negative characteristics. Shakespeare yet again illustrates that his lover is far more marvelous than nature itself. 
As Shakespeare describes the season’s climate in order to downplay the significance of what readers normally think of as warm and calm, he uses the same ploy; nonetheless by expressing the way the sun shines. By Shakespeare saying that the sun is “sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, and often is his gold complexion dimmed,” (Shakespeare 5-6) he points out that the sun shines too much some days and too hot other days. By stressing on the phrase “dimmed complexion”, the poet is deemphasizing all positive thoughts of how summer is characterized. Through the use of personification, Shakespeare compares the sun as hot while his lover is represented as temperate.