Summative Essay – The 18th Sonnet

In the assignment below, you will have to locate your favourite poet and poem and answer the following:

Part A) Poet’s Biography and Picture

A 300-word biographical summary of the poet written in your own words. The biography must also include a picture of your poet. Of course, you must reference any outside sources according to the MLA style.

Part B) A Poem by the Poet and an Analysis

Choose a poem (minimum 10 lines) by the poet that you will analyze. Write an analysis, two to three pages in length, of the poem you selected. This analysis will focus on the poetic devices found in the piece, and demonstrate how these devices work together to create the overall effect of the poem. Remember: this is not a poetic treasure hunt in which you simply say, “Here’s a simile! There’s an example of onomatopoeia!” You have to explain the effect of these devices on his or her poem.

Part C) Creative Component

Choose one of the options below:

  • Include a work of art related to the poem. You can either create an original piece or locate an existing piece of art (maybe use Google Art Project: and write a one or two paragraph description explaining how the work of relates to the poem you chose.
  • Create a 1–2-page comic based on the poem (here are some great examples:
  • Use Xtranormal, or another animation program to bring the poem to life.
  • You can create a song using digital (Garage Band) or acoustic means to put the words of the poem to song.

Part D) Self-Reflection

Reflect on the creation of this media presentation by answering the following:

– How did you decide on the type of media presentation that you would use for this assignment? What factors contributed to this decision?

– Did you learn any new skills that might be transferable in the future?

– What was the most difficult aspect of this assignment? Why did you find this element(s) challenging? How did you overcome this obstacle?

– What suggestions would you make to a fellow student who is about to complete this assignment? Be specific.- How did you make sure that all of the different components flowed together in your presentation?

The 18th Sonnet

ETD Tutors - The 18th Sonnet

PART A: Biography of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is a well-recognized English writer, distinguished for his exemplary works of literature. Despite the unavailability of precise information concerning his life, the following article consolidates facts about him. From an early age, William went to King’s New School for lessons on grammar thus his great command of the language. At this institution, he took rudimentary courses in general education to enhance his command of ethics, sciences, mathematical calculations, and literature.

Contrary to mainstream expectations, William Shakespeare did not attend University education because such opportunities were reserved for the elite and wealthy. The excellent allusions found in Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets testify to his outstanding education at school and confirm his superior aptitude as a playwright and poet (Shakespeare, and Briggs). His initial works of literature drew much from the works of Seneca and Plautus. His level of formal education stands out and the wealth of knowledge demonstrated his undisputable stature as an iconic poet and writer.

William married his long-time lover, Anne Hathaway in 1582. He proceeded to write Henry VI, Part 1, which was his first play. He frequented London owing to his desire to pursue a career in the theatre. William took a major stride in his life in 1593 when he acquired a distinguished position: The Earl of Southampton. Following his membership, he proceeded to write remarkable poems and plays which contributed to his famed success. William gained popularity as a poet in 1590s.

In 1594, William joined the theatre where he became a well-recognized affiliate of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Consequently, he wrote numerous plays such as Romeo and Juliet and Love’s Labor’s Lost. Shakespeare was associated with the group until his death in 1616. Shakespeare is associated with phenomenal work with some analysts alluding that he contributed immensely in writing certain books of the bible.


This sonnet is an enthralling narrative about a young man who is captivated by the beauty of his mistress and demonstratively compares her to nature. The first line of the poem, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” commences the literature by recognizing a man who is madly in love (Shakespeare 1). The young man marvels at her beauty by speculating that one would compare the youthful beauty to any day of the summer.

The author takes on a lyric genre while articulating his deep emotional feelings for the object of his desire. The first stanza demonstrates to the reader that the poet is particularly confused as to what is more attractive between an amazing summer day and his woman. The author clarifies his confusion in the preceding stanzas that see him conquered by colourful emotions and confessing that his woman is lovelier than the summer itself (Shakespeare 2). The poem demonstrates an illustration of never-ending, perpetual, and eternal beauty as envisaged by the writer.  

In this sonnet, William Shakespeare captures the timelessness of love and beauty. He demonstrates aspects of death and immortality by alluding to the immortality of art in a carefully-worded poetic piece. Other aspects captured in this work comprise of the power of poetry over destiny, death, and even the emotion of love. The sonnet displays a relationship between a man and the ultimate death he must meet.

In the poem, Shakespeare pays tribute to a friend. In the traditional sense, friends were recognized as “fair youth.” This sonnet is not necessarily a poem but refers to an object whose description would ensure the sustainability of the young man’s beauty. This item that Shakespeare describes would remain immortal such that death would become irrelevant owing to future generations of people reading the lines at a time when the poet and fair youth have passed on. The image that Shakespeare describes would live on.

The poem utilizes a thematic structure style to articulate the lover’s beauty. Literary analysis reveals that the first line opens up the reader to the poet’s attempt to compare his mistress’s beauty to the summer. The author then metamorphosed the lover into a summer. The poet demonstrates why his lover’s beauty is better than the summer. Despite summer’s undisputable beauty, it remains irregular and can often disappoint when looked upon solely. The summer’s beauty fades regularly in comparison to his lover’s beauty.

The preceding stanzas provide comprehensive answers to the rhetoric questions asked at the beginning of the poem. The poet uses a grafting metaphor when he says, “When in eternal lines to time thou grows (Shakespeare 12).  In this instance, the poet joins two parts so that they develop into one. Therefore, the poet’s mistress develops into an immortal infused into the poet’s cords. The author uses straightforward language and intent while putting across his emotions. His ultimate solution is ensuring that he captures his mistress’s beauty by entrenching it into human memory and therefore saving it from the forgetfulness that ensues after death

The poet demonstrates his undying love for his mistress without ostentation and builds a representation of a perfect being. The final stanza consolidates the poet’s aspiration that ensures the friend’s beauty would live on as long as humankind and his poetic works of literature survived.  The poet relies on metaphors and allegory to capture the beauty and paint the picture of immortality in the minds of readers. The author compares his lover’s beauty to summer in a metaphorical manner. William goes on to allude to the irregularity of summer in its failure to capture the immortality of a personified image of perfectness.

PART C: CREATIVE COMPONENT- Paul Maurice Kelly- Sonnet 18

Paul Maurice’s song Sonnet 18 is a song that alludes to Shakespeare’s 18th Sonnet. Paul used the song to commemorate William Shakespeare’s existence 1400 years after his death. Paul shares the same values as William as he compares a woman’s beauty to the elements of nature. Shakespeare influenced most of Paul’s work. The words utilized in the song are similar to those of William’s 18th Sonnet. Paul sentimentalizes a woman’s beauty and propagates the living form of William’s attitude. Paul’s song lives up to William’s prophecy to capture his love’s beauty in human memory and saving it from the entropy associated with death.

PART D: Self Reflection

  1. How did you decide on the type of media presentation that you would use for this assignment? What factors contributed to this decision?

The popularity of this media influenced the selection process. Familiarity with it meant that providing a comprehensive report of stylistic devices utilized would be second nature. I also considered the ease of access to the media for this assignment. The 18th Sonnet is readily available on the Internet, movies, songs, and books. This media also comes rich in styles of literature that are enticing to investigate. The poem changes form in the sense that it captures a meaning that changes with every perusal. The poem brings different meanings every time someone reads it.

  1. Did you learn any new skills that might be transferable in the future?

One essential skill I learnt while compiling this summary was the need to reflect on literature before making conclusions. It often essays to jump to conclusions after the first perusal of a piece of literature. However, careful analysis, meditation, and thorough analysis reveals meanings that poets intend to portray. Slow but careful consideration for such timeless works of literature is an essential skill that I will carry forward while analyzing poems, plays, movies, and songs.  

  1. What was the most difficult aspect of this assignment? Why did you find this elements challenging? How did you overcome this obstacle?

The most difficult aspect of this assignment was coming up with an original analysis of the poem. This required a truthful assessment of the poem without reference from secondary sources of information. This was challenging because there is plenty of reading material that would have contradicted this presentation’s foundation on originality. I intended to make this presentation as original as possible and therefore referred to self-examination for context. Overcoming this difficulty meant that I had to read the poem thoroughly, reflect on it, and give an analysis that was unbiased by other’s opinions. I gave an honest description of the poem and avoided referring to other sources of information for content.

  1. What suggestions would you make to a fellow student who is about to complete this assignment?

I would suggest that the student observes originality and look to their own self-report on any work of literature they would utilize. This would ensure that their work is original. Secondly, I would suggest that they seek media that is easy to access and analyze.

  1. How did you make sure that all of the different components flowed together in your presentation?

I ensured that all the different components flowed together in the presentation by enumerating essential points so that ideas did not overlap. By noting down the requirements of the presentation, I was empowered to articulate essential points with clarity. This also helped me to avoid unnecessary repetition.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William, and A. D. P Briggs. Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day?. Everyman, 1999.