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Sonnet 18

Sonnet 18

Sonnet 18 Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

This is a classic Shakespearean sonnet with fourteen lines in very regular iambic pentameter. With the exception of a couple relatively strong first syllables (and even these are debatable), there...


Generally, it’s a good rule of thumb to avoid calling the speaker of a poem by the name of the author. The idea is that the speaker in a work of literature, describing the subject matter, cou...


Imagine a poet sitting out in a field on a warm but breezy summer day, contemplating the nature of existence and jotting down some poetic philosophy. We imagine it’s kind of like the weather...

Sound Check

When we read this poem out loud, the first thing that strikes us is how neat the whole thing is. It’s so perfectly tied up. Every single line bounces along in perfect iambic pentameter, with...

What's Up With the Title?

Not much to say about the title here. This is indeed a sonnet, and the "Form and Meter" section describes how Shakespeare made the sonnet form his own. As far as the number eighteen is concerned, i...

Calling Card

Some people like to say that all art is ultimately about two things: love and death. Shakespeare, though, never one to be complacent, noticed that it’s silly to reduce art to two things that...


Here’s a poem that isn’t particularly hard to get through. In fact, if we were just judging on difficulty of comprehending the meaning of the words on the page, this might be a 2. "Sonn...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

This sonnet in particular really doesn’t have anything in the way of sex, but if you read the poem in the context of all of Shakespeare's sonnets, it’d be hard to get away with a G rati...

Shout Outs

The Bible: In line 11, the speaker refers to the 23rd psalm, when he speaks of Death’s "shade."

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