Sonnet 18
Sonnet 18
by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 18 Man and the Natural World Quotes Page 2

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Quote #4

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st (9-12)

While the opening lines suggested that the poet would pit man and the natural world in competition, here we realize that the poet is placing man and the natural world together against time. It turns out, as we saw in all of the previous lines, that man and nature actually have tons in common, and even if the poet set up the comparison to find differences, he mainly finds similarities. Changing tack, then, he groups man and nature together in a fight against fate and time.

Quote #5

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee (13-14)

By the end of the poem, poetry itself has become part of the natural world, as the poem’s continued "life" is the key to keeping "thee" alive.

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