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She Walks in Beauty

She Walks in Beauty

by George Gordon, Lord Byron

Analysis: Shout Outs

When poets refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Philosophical References

William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18 (lines 1-2). The opening simile of the poem, which compares the beautiful woman to "the night / of cloudless climes and starry skies," is a reference to the famous sonnet by Shakespeare that opens with, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" Byron makes the gutsy move of borrowing Shakespeare's idea, and then reversing it.

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