"Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day," is a poem written by William Shakespeare. This poem clearly describes the complexion of summer by praising the beauty of nature. The poet's tone of the poem is elegant with a romantic setting, because summer is a time of lightness and romanticism. What makes this poem more intriguing is that the poet uses the theme of the poem to bring out the meaning of love and paint his feelings for his beloved one. To unravel a deeper understanding of this sonnet, I divided the poem into four sections: the first quatrain, the second quatrain, the third quatrain, and a couplet.
The speaker starts off the poem with a question that directly addresses to his beloved one: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" (Shakespeare, Line 1). This line is very important from the start, because it implies how much the speaker adores his beloved. This comparison is being used throughout the poem with the use of imagery. As line 2 follows, Shakespeare describes his woman as "lovely" and "temperate". These two adjectives remark the woman's beauty. "Thou art more lovely and more temperate" (Shakespeare, Line 2). Shakespeare also uses repetition of "more" to bring out the emphasis of these two adjectives. Although summer is a beautiful season, it goes by too fast and there are "rough winds" sometimes. Shakespeare brings up the imperfection among the beauty of summer, because he knows that all these delightful things are only temporary and don't last forever.
In the second quatrain, a positive and negative contrast is shown. Shakespeare uses more imagery by describing how "the eye of heaven" shines "too hot" or too dim. "The eye of the heaven" symbolizes the sun that shines on a summer day. Although this nature looks so magnificent, it is not yet to be perfect. In this part of the quatrain, the mood starts to shift from a bright setting into a gloomy feeling. "And every fair from fair sometime declines, by chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd" (Shakespeare, Line 7-8).