Shall I compare thee?

Tonight, please explain how memorizing your sonnet changed your understanding of  it.  In other words, you already wrote a blog explaining what you understood about both sonnets, but tonight you should explain how the experience of memorization and recital changed that understanding.  What new insights have you had?  What do you now understand?   In addition, however, you must respond to at least one comment on the sonnet that you did memorize.

Some questions to consider for your analysis:

  • What literary elements, such as simile, metaphor, alliteration, word choice, etc., do you notice and what effect do they have on the overall sonnet?
  • What is the most important underlying message of your sonnet?

As always, you MUST provide specific evidence from your text, proofread your writing for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.  Please also respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

Sonnet blog #2

42 thoughts on “Shall I compare thee?

  1. At first, I was completely against memorizing the sonnet. Mrs.Quinson said how people used to make their kids memorize poems. I thought to myself that it was used as a torture device and as a punishment. Well little did I know. A few days later in class, Mrs.Quinson told us once we memorize it we will know it by heart. Once again, I had my doubts. I know a million songs word for word, but that doesn’t mean they mean more to me. I learned that poetry is different. When you memorize a poem, especially Shakespeare, you really do understand in a new way. After memorizing sonnet 18 I now understand it in a better and deeper way. I understand what Shakespeare was trying to say. For example the line “Thou art more lovely and more temperate”. Before this line was just there. Now I know Shakespeare is saying how the young man is better than a summer’s day. The nest lines state“Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date; Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;” These lines are stating flaws of summer to make the young man look better. He states how summer is too short and too hot. And how sometimes the clouds cover up the sun. Then Shakespeare writes “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,” He says how the young man will never lose his summer. And how he won’t die and will always be handsome. The last two lines are the ones I may not completely understand even after memorizing it but I definitely understand it more than before. The last two lines read “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.” This is arrogant of Shakespeare. He is saying how he is so famous that as long as men can still read they will read his poems. And that because of this the man’s beauty will last forever in this poem. Although this is probably correct, it is an arrogant statement. The overall message of sonnet 18 is that the man is more beautiful than a summer’s day and that beauty will last forever because it is in his poem.

    • Wow, Abigail! Your analysis of the poem was great and it even helps me understand the true meaning of the poem. Keep up the good work.

  2. After learning to memorize my sonnet, I found that I saw it very different from my initial read-through. At the beginning, my sonnet (number 18) was very different from what I saw. Instead of seeing it as a love poem, I saw it just comparing a person to a summer’s day. However, upon studying it while trying to memorize, I figured out that Shakespeare had a tone of admiration while discussing this person, who happened to be a young man. He found him to be so admirable that he went so far as to write a poem for him. To me, it seems that this person is Shakespeare’s source for writing and inspiration. This young man, who he adores, drives him to create such great works as Sonnet 18. This is also evidenced later, when the woman who he fawns over drives him to write Sonnet 130. Another part of this poem that I understood more clearly while memorizing was not the Sonnet as a whole, rather individual lines of text. For example, two lines of text that I did not really think much of when I started is when Shakespeare says, “Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;/ Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,” (ll. 10-11). At the beginning, I saw this as just another couple of lines to memorize, and looked them over. Upon looking deeper, they seemed quite muddled to me until I put them in context with the rest of the poem. These lines, and even this quatrain as a whole, is used to glorify this young man, and this helped me to visualize and see how beautiful he is in the eyes of Shakespeare, and also why he deserves to be immortalized in such a way. Overall, I found memorizing the poem quite helpful in allowing me to read between the lines and look deeper into the Sonnet.

  3. After memorizing Sonnet 130, I have a much deeper understanding of the piece. Shakespeare writes about all of the traits that his mistress lacks. However, he truly does love her. As I studied his writing for memorization, I really focused on the person who is my “mistress,” so to speak. I would think back to times where I was in an argument with someone, and although we were in a disagreement I still loved them dearly. It seemed impossible for me at first to think of how the sonnet can relate to my life as a middle schooler. Then, I remembered that being in middle school comes with the crushes. No one is perfect, but when you have feelings for someone, that person is the most appealing person in your world. It seems that when you have feelings for another person, a few of your friends seem to find many flaws in your crush. It is hard to realize that your crush isn’t perfect, but when it is someone you truly care for, then their flaws don’t matter. I always received a disappointing tone in the sonnet. Shakespeare compares hie mistress to all of the beauty standards that stood back then, and how he perhaps always had imagine the one he loves. However, he knows that his love is a rare lady, and that there is no one like her. Although he compares her eyes to a sun, and her scent to delightful perfumes, he cannot compare her to other women. He truly does love her, because he can’t think of anyone like her.

    • Great blog Ashley! I love how you related Shakespeare’s sonnet 130 to our every day middle school lives. When you think of the sonnet that way, you get a much more personal understanding of it. 🙂

  4. Much to my own surprise, I found memorizing Sonnet 18 to be very entertaining. It gave me something to do while I was bored over break. However, to be completely honest, it didn’t really extend my understanding of the poem. I feel like I understood it pretty well ever since we went over it in class and broke it down together.

    Sonnet 18 is pretty much a simile. This person is being compared to summer through the entire sonnet, except for the ending (which I’ll get into later). Basically, Shakespeare is pointing out all the flaws in summer, and how this person contains none of those flaws. “Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, / And often his gold complexion dimm’d; / And every fair from fair sometime declines, / By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;” (ll. 5-8, Sonnet 18). In this quote, Shakespeare is saying that (a) sometimes the sun is too bright, (b) sometimes the clouds cover the sun, (c) the sun’s beauty will eventually die out, because of (d) nature’s changing course, or time. “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:” (ll. 8-13, Sonnet 18). Shakespeare is saying that this person’s beauty will never fade. Death would not seize him, for this person is immortalized in this poem.

    Now, the ending is what I believe to be the most interesting part. “So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, / So long lives this, and this gives life to thee,” (ll. 14-15, Sonnet 18). Like Mr. Enright said, Shakespeare is extremely arrogant. He believed, then, that his poetry would be forever remembered by personkind. I really don’t know how to feel about this, especially since he was right. I do feel a little upset that Shakespeare was really so arrogant. It kind of ruined the poem. At the same time, though, it made it even more interesting, and kind of makes me like it more. It also makes me wonder whether Shakespeare said that because he was successful, or that Shakespeare was successful because he believed that. Either way, it just makes Shakespeare’s character even better. It shows that even a legend like Shakespeare has his flaws, too.

    Also, I just want to ask, why are we all saying this person is male? The line we based this person’s gender off of was about the sun, not the person. “And often is his gold complexion dimm’d,” (l. 6, Sonnet 18). Hate to be the one to say it, but we still don’t know this person’s gender.

    • Sorry about some of the messed up words. When I realized that we shouldn’t be considering this person as a male I just used Find and Replace and so now it says “personkind” instead of “mankind” in paragraph 2. My bad.

    • Great Job, Arjun! Your thoughts were all logical and similar to mine. Also, your analysis of the sonnet was excellent. Keep up the great work!

  5. After memorizing my sonnet, I was able to learn even more about the poem. At first, I did not understand why emphasizing different words at a time would create a different meaning. But then, when I tried doing it, I realized that gives a different feel and mood. Also, when I read it the first time, I thought the poem was about love, but while memorizing it, I realized that it was actually about comparing a man to the summer. The only question that I really want to know the answer to is who is the man Shakespeare wrote about. Although I learn about the poem as a whole, I also learned about the meaning of individual lines. One of them was “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” (Line 3). At first, I did not know what wind had to do with anything. After saying it so many times, I realized that it means that even when summer begins, it feels like it is almost over because of rough winds. Also, I had no idea what “Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st.” But after saying it out loud, I realized it meant that although sometimes a person is not beautiful, they should never lose the beauty. I found that the last lines were about the future. Pretty much, as long as people live on earth, Shakespeare and his poem will be always be remembered and even studied. That seems very arrogant considering that he only wrote poems.

  6. I memorized sonnet 130 by Shakespeare over the break. Although it was very nerve wracking to recite it in front of the whole class, I think it was beneficial to hear others recite the poems because each person puts accents on what words they think are important, and that brings a whole other meaning to the sonnets. For example, in my sonnet, you could put accents on the words such as “my”, “her”, and “I”. If you say it that way, then it is more crude in the way that it sounds more as if you are comparing your mistress to someone else’s. In that way, the comparisons are a little more offensive. But if you put the accents on the nature words such as “sun”, “coral”, or “snow”, the sonnet takes on a whole new meaning. That way makes it sound that the mistress is being compared more to nature and sweet things than other mistresses. But no matter what accents you put on it, the end will always stay the same. Shakespeare wants to convey the message that even though his mistress is not perfect, he still loves her. “Belied”, by definition, means a failure to give a true notion or impression of. Shakespeare is trying to say that all others may lie and say that the mistress looks beautiful and charming, but Shakespeare is not afraid to tell the truth. Part of the truth is that no matter how she looks, talks, or smells, he will always love his mistress. “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare/ as any she belied with false compare.” The overall comparisons take on a different meaning when the accents are changed, but the ending still has the same message.

    • I love your analysis, Arina. I completely agree with how you said that Shakespeare completely loves her, and isn’t afraid to say that she is flawed. I also like how you brought up emphasis, and different words with emphasis mean a variety of things.

    • Arina, I love how you point out the fact that no matter which words you emphasize, Shakespeare is still able to convey his ultimate message. I also really like your analysis of Shakespeare’s ability to be completely honest, and how no matter what he still loves his mistress. Really great response!

  7. After memorizing my sonnet (sonnet 18), I had a better understanding of them poem in order to learn it better. I’m the kind of person that likes to try to understand, or make sense of the things I am going to talk about so that if there are more questions about it, I can do my best to answer them. I also like to know what something I’m talking about means, so that I can feel as though I know more about it and that it means more to me. For example, when there is a new song out that I love, I tend to learn the words to it so that I can enjoy it more and say that I know it. So, memorizing my sonnet was helpful to me because I got to know more about what Shakespeare meant and how I wanted to portray it. Some may say that Shakespeare was being ignorant or arrogant in sonnet 18, especially in the last couplet of the poem. But to me, I read that as him wanting to impress the person who he was addressing in the sonnet. Although the act of trying to impress someone is possibly arrogant, I see it as desperately wanting the other persons attention, not as Shakespeare saying “I’m so great, look at me”. I think that what he does in this sonnet and in 130 is one of the things he is greatest at which is telling a love story. That could be with a friend, a loved one, or a significant other, either way Shakespeare is gifted at it. I chose this sonnet because of it’s rhythm and because when I read it I heard its beauty. But, when I got to know it to the point that I could recite it, I could feel it’s beauty and grace in a way that was impossible before.

    • Great job with your blog! Its so funny, I wrote the same thing about Shakespeare’s arrogance and how he just wanted individuals to know about his love for this woman. Again good job!

  8. After hearing that we had to memorize a sonnet, I was a bit annoyed and shocked. First, I’m not a very big fan of poems, nonetheless, memorizing them. And saying them in front of the class, I could already feel my legs shaking. However, I still memorized the poem.
    During the process of memorizing, a lot more words were clearer to me. For example, the line, “And summer’s lease hath all too short a date. Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, and often is his gold complexion dimm’d.” Once reading more closely, you really understand Shakespeare’s words and his deep love for the woman he seems to be falling for. As I kept repeating the same poem over and over again, I started to use more emphasis on words and making it more passionate. That’s when I knew that Shakespeare had done his job of comparing his love to summer. However, there were still a couple of lines, where I had no idea what he was talking about. The sonnet reads, “Nor shall Death brag thou wonders’t in his shade. When in eternal lines to time thou grows’t.” I had no idea what he meant but it still added to the power of the sonnet.
    When Mr. Enright pointed out the fact that Shakespeare was being a bit arrogant, I agree but I also disagree. Yes, he was talking about how his sonnet will live forever in infamy. But he was also recognizing the effect of the poem and wanted his love for this beautiful woman to never go forgotten.
    In class today, I was also hearing Sonnet #130, and it was just as beautiful. Those, who read the poem today in class, emphasized certain words and made it clear to me and made the poem sound amazing.
    I’m happy that I got to memorize a sonnet and the fact that I said it in front of the class made it even better. I appreciated Shakespeare’s sonnet and the beauty of the love he explained in these two sonnets.

  9. After memorizing sonnet 18, I’ve gained a greater understanding than before. Words and sentences that had previously made no sense now seem more elegant and have meaning. As for literary elements, I’ve realized that the sonnet is basically one big metaphor, in which Shakespeare is comparing someone to a summer day. In the first line it says, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” He then goes on about the traits of summer, and how much better the person he is addressing is. That person is apparently, “more lovely and more temperate,” and compared to them, the sun doesn’t stay long enough and sometimes shines too hot. In the line, “And often is his gold complexion dimm’d,” I’ve realized that Shakespeare is not referring to a person when he writes “his,” but to the sun. The sun’s gold complexion dimm’d could be referring to the sun setting, or even a seasonal change. In the rest of the poem, Shakespeare writes about how this person is nothing like the sun. Their eternal summer will never end, nor will they lose their beauty, or succumb to death. As long as men are alive, he says, then his poem will live on and give life to this someone. In summary, Shakespeare is attempting to compare someone to a summer’s day, talking of how much better they are. But these are the lines that really changes everything: “So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see / So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.” It’s as if he is saying that he is the cause of this so-called eternal summer. In a way, he’s saying that this poem is granting the person never-ending beauty and life. Overall, looking at and memorizing this poem for so long helped me under the sonnet more.

  10. In my memorization and recital of Shakespeare, Sonnet 130, I did indeed learn more about the writing style and the deeper meaning of the piece. I noticed a certain pattern of comparison. The color of her lips are contrasted with the color of bright red coral, her breath is contrasted with the odor of pleasantly smelling perfume, and her voice is contrasted to the sound of pleasant music. Only negative adjectives are used to describe her characteristics, and yet we find all of these characteristics to all be physical. I have learned that this sonnet is one of tender and loving care. Shakespeare is correct in thinking of his love as rare, as a love that is born from the love of the personality and mentality is much more powerful than the love of physical characteristics. This goes to show the underlying meaning of this sonnet, that true love, (or at least real enough love) stems not from appearances and physical characteristics but from emotions and lover for the person’s mental being, not physical being.”My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun, coral is far more red than her lips red, if snow is white, why then her breasts are dun.” All of these are physical examples.

    • Well done William! This particular article of yours is truly extravagant! I never really thought of it so specifically. I really agree that his love came from not her physical features, but her personality and mentality.

  11. Memorizing my sonnet, made it much easier for me to understand my sonnet. This task of memorizing this sonnet gave me something to do over break, as well as helping with my understanding of the poem. Little did I know, that emphasizing different words at times would create a different meaning for those words. In doing so, my reading gave off different moods and feelings. Instead of seeing it as a love poem, I thought this sonnet was comparing a person to a summer’s day. Upon our classroom discussions and memorization of the text, I have realized that Shakespeare had indeed been writing about with a tone of admiration towards a young man. In my opinion, this poem was dedicated to this young man that Shakespeare had admired. It is evident that this young man, who he adores, is the driving force and inspirations for many of the great works of Shakespeare. In addition, while examining the final lines,“So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, / So long lives this, and this gives life to thee,” it very clear that Shakespeare was arrogant. He believed that his poem will be remembered by everyone, forever. Although his arrogance may be seen as bad, it also provided some confidence that was crucial to the success of William Shakespeare. Finally, parts of the sonnet that made little sense to me, became clearer due to memorization. In conclusion, memorizing my sonnet definitely changed my understanding of it.

  12. Memorizing the Sonnet that I was required to helped me to understand what the Sonnet was saying even more than before. By reading and saying the Sonnet constantly everyday, the words got themselves into my brain and I gradually began to understand what the Sonnet was talking about. Before, reading the Sonnet was just like reading words on a page. It was not easy to depict, and most of the words and sentences were meaningless. Then, after saying the lines out loud multiple times, they started to gain meaning and started to tell a story. In the beginning, it seemed like Shakespeare was only complimenting another man’s great characteristics and personality traits. Now, after a week of being around the poem, it seems like Shakespeare has an extreme admiration and affection for this certain young man. I also saw what Shakespeare was saying in the last two lines of his poem. He was basically saying that he was making this young man last forever by writing a Sonnet about how great and wonderful he is. Ultimately, memorizing the Sonnet helped to let me truly understand the meaning of it.

    • Nice blog post. You described well the way that most of us began to memorize the poem. Something I especially like is your honesty in saying that previously you couldn’t understand some lines.

  13. After memorizing sonnet 18, it has really changed in meaning for me. The main thing this helped me with was noticing the little things that I previously skipped over. When reading, I only noticed an obvious metaphor that compared Shakespear’s subject to a summer’s day. Now, after memorizing the sonnet, I noticed that the phrases “eye of heaven” and “eternal summer” were metaphors. When Shakespeare mentions “the eye of heaven” he is comparing the sun to an eye. When Shakespeare mentions the “eternal summer” he is comparing the subjects eternal beauty to the summer; which is interesting because of how, in the first 4 lines, he talks about why the subject is better than the summer. Furthermore, other things I noticed were that both Summer and Death are personified in line 6 and line 11 respectively. As others pointed out when you spend time memorizing a poem, you learn more about the meanings of individual lines and the lines in context. A particular line I had trouble with was, “And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” I think my main problem with that line was that I didn’t know what all the words meant, but when I was trying to memorize the poem I thought it would be useful to understand what everything meant. After finding definitions I realized the line just meant “summer is too short.” Coming into this I wasn’t sure if I could memorize the poem, but now I know this is easier than it seems and now I won’t be (as) afraid if I have to memorize things in the future.

    • Great response Devan! You shine a new light on the sonnet with showing the personifications that I had skipped over. We’ll done!

  14. At first, when we were told we needed to memorize a sonnet, I picked Sonnet 130 for quite a few reasons. For one, I did not really like Sonnet 18 very much. The last too lines seemed too cocky to me. Also, Sonnet 130 seemed to kind of call out to me. When I first read it, it only though of it like the relationship between Ethan Frome and Zeena. I did not think of it very highly. Yet, I felt like there was something missing, like I overlooked it. After memorizing the sonnet, it suddenly became so intriguing. You would think that he was saying how bad his mistress was, until the last two lines, “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare, as any she belied with false compare.” Just in two lines the whole view of the story seemed to twist. Instead of me seeing a man who seemed to complain about his mistress, I saw a man loving his mistress even if she was not perfect. This poem is definitely a lovely poem that takes in a theme of true love and perspective. He truly loved her, and he felt it did not matter that she had flaws, as he knew that also himself and the rest of the world had flaws too. As in perspective, from everyone’s responses you can see that our perspective has changed after knowing the whole story. I am actually quite disappointed at myself for judging the man in the story before fully understanding the whole poem. I think that Shakespeare’s work, no matter how cocky he is, is truly lovely.

  15. When memorizing my sonnet (18) I decided to memorize it as a story, rather than just lines of a poem, and it really helped my memorization as well as my understanding. I was having trouble remembering which line came next and I kept mixing up which lines came when so once I deciphered the storyline it became easier. I then saw how Shakespeare went from saying that the muse for the poem is better than a summer day, “Thou art more lovely and more temperate”, to describing the flaws of a summer day, “And summer’s lease hath all too short a date…”, then why it is good, “But thy eternal summer shall not fade…”, and then saying that this poem will last forever, “So long lives this and this gives life to thee.” I’m thinking of this more as a story than a poem which I think gives it a lot more meaning and makes it so much more enjoyable. I also want to talk about Mr. Enrights idea of it being arrogant. I personally don’t agree. I think that Shakespeare is saying that the reason the poem will last is because it is about that specific person, not because it is written by him. Personally this poem is now one of my favorites I have ever read since I understand it more.

  16. At first, I thought that memorizing the sonnet was gonna be difficult. However, it was a lot easier to memorize. The rhythm and the overall sound and flow of the sonnet made it easier to memorize, and made it more like memorizing a song. Memorizing the sonnet was an overall good experience. In that one week, I felt as though the sonnet was all around me. The poem just ran through my head all through break, and I started to get more of a sense for the feeling and emotion of certain words. Knowing the words well, allowed me to focus on more of the feeling and the meaning of the poem, rather than the exact words. I started to notice the metaphors of the poem, like “the eye of heaven”, and the meaning of each line. One line that tripped me off was “when in eternal lines to time thou grow’st”. I know he is talking about how all beautiful things will fade, but I couldn’t quite get what he meant. By memorizing this poem, and reading it over and over again, I began to understand the meaning of this line. The word “eternal” is very important here, as he is saying that his lines are eternal, so “summer” or his love, will never fade. Through memorization, I was able to understand and figure this out. This is a solid example of how memorization helps to understand the poem. It was break, so we didn’t have class discussion, yet, I still figured it out. That’s the beauty of memorization.

    • Great job! I agree with you that once we memorized the poems, we start to notice many little things such as metaphors and specific words. Keep up the great work!

  17. After memorizing sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare, I feel inspired to write and express myself in everyday life. When Mrs. Quinson told the class that we are going to memorize the sonnets, I was a bit sceptical but once I read it and memorized it, I see the sonnet in a different way. Once reading it outloud, I started to emphasize some words which transformed the sonnet from just being written on paper to a poem that shows emotions and one in which many people can relate to. I now understand the meaning behind it and why it was written. The sonnet starts off with the stanzas, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate”. Before memorizing the sonnet and adding some emotion to it, I thought that the sonnet was just saying how he is trying to think of the best thing that can describe their love. Although, now I realise that it’s much more than that, it’s saying how even one of the most beautiful seasons, summer, can not compare to the happiness in which he feels when they are together. Art is something that many people can relate to and enjoy, yet it still doesn’t match how much he loves her. As he lists these things which are beautiful, he is showing how many things in which he loves doesn’t compare to the one thing that is truly the best thing on earth, love. Later in this sonnet he mentions, “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.” In my opinion, this really ties the whole sonnet together. Before memorizing I thought of this as just another ending but it’s not. I now realize that it’s showing how their love will last forever and love will not prevail. There are many more thing in which I realized after memorizing the sonnet and I will not forget these things in my head because after all, “thy eternal summer shall not fade.”

  18. After memorizing sonnet 18, I receive different messages from reciting the sonnet in varied ways. I want to focus on the specific phrase in line 14 of this sonnet,“So long lives this, and this gives life to thee”. From my understanding of this last line, the emphasis on different words can really mix up the meaning of the entire sonnet. Keep in mind, these are my understandings of the text. You may have different views, so please share them. This line here is where it seems to wrap up the sonnet and is where we can grasp an understanding of what is being told. To start with, let’s put emphasis on the second “this” in the line. Read this out loud: “So long lives this, and THIS gives life to thee”. This is where Mr. Enright’s perspective of the sonnet comes from. Emphasis on that particular word causes an understanding that Shakespeare is taking credit for the immortalization of the person he speaks of. Showing that his sonnet is the reason they shall be remembered is very full of himself, even if he is Shakespeare. However, a simple change can make you take the sonnet differently. Read this out loud instead: “So long lives this, and this gives LIFE to thee”. Focus on the word “life” will instead give you the idea that he is trying to immortalize her because he is caring, while the other version appears very arrogant. Finally, read this version out loud: “So long lives this, and this gives life to THEE”. Now, the immortalization is not arrogant nor is it sympathy. Instead, it almost appears that he is telling this person that he will immortalize them because they are so special. Altogether, this is a very important topic for me and I’d really enjoy if we could go more into depth tomorrow on it.

  19. Memorizing Sonnet 130 helped me to further understand what Shakespeare was trying to convey through his words. When we read it on the paper, we don’t get as much meaning from it, because they’re really just words to us, and not an overall theme or message being shown through the words. However, by memorizing and reciting it, we get a chance to further explore what it means to us, in our own words. I am now able to understand how Sonnet 130 is far more admiring and loving rather than negative towards this mysterious mistress. The lines up until the very last two appear to be quite insulting, especially when Shakespeare says things like, “I have seen roses damask’d, red and white, / But no such roses see I in her cheeks; / And in some perfumes is there more delight / Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.” When one hears the word “reek,” you don’t usually think of something good-smelling, but of something gross. He is describing how his mistress is not all of these nice things, but the last two lines make it come full circle as we see that he really does love her, despite all of these things. “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare / As any she belied with false compare.” To belie is to fail to give a true notion or impression of something, so I wonder if the mistress is the one who is saying all of these things about herself? If she is the one belieing, then maybe the whole purpose of this sonnet is to show how Shakespeare doesn’t care about those negative things, and how his love for her is the most important thing. (I may have totally misread the situation and gotten this completely backwards, so someone let me know if that’s the case.) Shakespeare is being completely honest with his mistress, saying that all of these nasty things she thinks about herself may be somewhat true, but he still loves her for them. To be honest, I personally wouldn’t really want a poem describing and confirming all of my flaws, no matter how lovely the phrasing is, but whatever floats your boat, I guess. Another thing about the last two lines is that on the paper, they are the only indented lines. I’m not sure if this is on purpose or accidental, but it further helps to show the contrast between them and the rest of the poem. Usually when you get to those two lines when reciting, your tone changes and turns softer, just like the words do themselves.

  20. To tell the truth I was uncertain about memorizing a whole sonnet 18 from Shakespeare but once I did my deeper understanding of the sonnet changed in many ways. Firstly I realized that the whole meaning of the sonnet changes if you put emphasis on different words in the sonnet. For example when you say “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” it is meant to point out a flaw in Summer, but if you put emphasis on the word “darling” the whole line changes to somewhat praise summer. Furthermore my whole interpretation of this sonnet completely changed. I first viewed it as a more literal love poem. Using the main simile of comparing the person to the sun, but now I see that it is more of telling the person that they are admirable and will be remembered for years. Instead of portraying love it is portraying respect to me. I am actually so glad that i had this experience memorizing a sonnet and better understanding it.

  21. Having to memorize sonnet 130 really helped me understand it a lot better. While memorizing it I had to perfect certain emphasis’s on certain words, and when you say it out loud in a certain way you can hear the message conveyed much more easily. When you have to perform it, you kind of get deeper into the mind of what Shakespeare was trying to say. Honestly, memorizing wasn’t really hard but actually trying to emote well and emphasize it properly so you get still get the feeling of the poem was really hard. When I first read sonnet 130 is seemed quite negative and cynical. Like two people in a broken relationship but the more I practiced it the more my interpretation changed. I saw as someone who has come to love another person despite their numerous and blatant flaws. So much so that they don’t even seem like flaws but they’re just apart of that persons character. It seems so negative but it’s even more lovely and romantic than sonnet 18 even.

  22. After memorizing the sonnet I understood the sonnet differnetly. Especially the last two lines.

    My mom and I almost got into an argument about what was happening, (a friendly one between two smart people, not an actually argument). And now that I talked to her about it I understood the sonnet differnetly and even changed the way I said the sonnet. At first I was emphasising just nothing in the first line, but my mom convinced me to also emphasize my. And after thinking about it, it made sense. I think of the poem as kind of making fun of other poets. They are always talking about how perfect there mistress is, but Shakespeare seas his mistress so what she truly is. NOT perfect. And so it makes more sense to also emphasize my in the first sentence, because he’s talking about how he still loves his mistress even though she isn’t perfect.

    I also changed up the last part a bit. The last two line are
    And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As any she belied with false compare

    At first I emphasized it as
    And yet, by heaven, I thinkyou love as rare, as any SHE belied in false conpare.

    Because I at first thought of it as his mistress thinking that she is not lerfect, and is so much worse than all the other women, and that she thought that everyone else’s love was better, while Shakespeare thought it was still just as good. Even though I still think of it as that, I also think of it in a differnetly which would be emphasized like this

    And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As ANY she, belied with false compare

    So, instead of Shakespeare mistress thinking she wasn’t good enough, it was all the other women that thought so. Just by changing the emphasis on two words changes the whole thing. Now it means that all the other women thought that Shakespeare mistress wasn’t good enough, and that they all thought they would be better woth Shakespeare. And now the poem means that Shakespeare isn’t critiquing his mistress. But rather saying how great he thinks she is, and assuring her that it doesn’t matter what the other women think but that he thinks she is amazing. This also makes the poem a lot more romantic, and not so depressing.

  23. If I am going to be brutally honest, I did not find any clearer understanding of the sonnets though just memorizing them. For me, memorization was simply reading and reciting lines. If I didn’t quite understand a line, I would just have to infer the tone based on lines around it and the contraction that starts it. One literary device I did notice, though, was the great detail of each comparison. Sonnet 18 had one great similie to epically compare the addressed person to Summer. Almost makes me think of can epic similie. And the great detail in each line if the other sonnet go into great vivid detail that brings the sonnet alive.

  24. In the memorization of sonnet 18 I was tasked to, not only memorize, but accompany myself and absorb the true meaning of this poem. I realized that Shakespeare’s writing can take on many different forms. That, is what I believe, gives all the more beauty and grace to his writing. It might mean one thing to Shakespeare, he is trying to convey one overall theme or motif, but you can apply it to any scenario in your life to which the poem could pertain. The versatility of this poem makes it really unique, because it delves deeper into the human psyche and the way human emotions can spark such greatness. For example, take an abstract painting. Just like the Sonnet, the artist would like you to extract what is meaningful to you, and what applies to your life, while at the same time looking at their own depiction of certain human traits and parts of the conscious. This piece of writing is a work of art, because it has lasted through hundreds of years to still give us meaning. We are still figuring out the poem’s meaning, because we weren’t there for Shakespeare to explain it, which gives you all the more space to explore the meaning of these pieces of literature. However, it is crucial for us to stay in the parameters of the words on the page, or we will not be able to capture the intricate tone and gracefulness of the poem, which is an integral part of the whole recitation.
    In conclusion, this was very eye opening and I look forward to reading more of Shakespeare in the future.

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