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Analysis of Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

            Likely the most influential writer in all of English literature and certainly the most important playwright of the English Renaissance, William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England. Despite the unproven conclusion that his plays were written by somebody else, Shakespeare must be viewed as the author of the 37 plays and 154 sonnets that bear his name. The legacy of this body of work is immense, and has resulted in becoming so influential as to profoundly affect the course of Western literature and culture ever after. A sonnet is in verse form and has fourteen lines of iambic pentameter. Shakespeare's sonnets follow the pattern "abab cdcd efef gg". All the lines in iambic pentameter have five feet, consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one. .
             The majority of the sonnets (1-126) are addressed to a young man, with whom the poet has an intense romantic relationship. The poet spends the first seventeen sonnets trying to convince the young man to marry and have children; beautiful children that will look just like their father, ensuring his immortality. Whilst his 18th Sonnet maintains the allusion of preserved youth through progeny, Shakespeare emphasizes the power of poetry and its ability to safeguard beauty and temperateness as well. The simplicity and loveliness of Sonnet 18 has led to global praise and admiration over the past half-millennia. It is arguably the most famous of the sonnets, only lines such as "To be or not to be" and "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" are better-known. Shakespeare's continued popularity perfectly demonstrates how influential his works are, regardless of era and generation. Thus, Sonnet 18 will undoubtably be studied by future generations due to themes such as love and beauty, the relationship between art and life and lastly morality. These themes highlighted are relevant to any society, civilization or era - and that's the beauty of Shakespearean literature.

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