February 15

Shall I compare thee to my mistress eyes?


Tonight, please write your response to the sonnets we looked at in class.    One idea for your response could be compare and contrast.  How are they similar and how are they different?

Some more questions you may want to consider for your analysis:

  • What literary elements, such as simile, metaphor, alliteration, 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 #1

Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

Posted February 15, 2019 by equinson in category Shakespeare

21 thoughts on “Shall I compare thee to my mistress eyes?

  1. Mikayla Friedman

    The sonnets “My mistress’ eyes” and “Shall I compare thee” have many similarities and differences. Firstly, they are both meant to please whoever the speaker is talking about. In “Shall I compare thee,” Shakespeare is saying that this gorgeous young man is as beautiful as a summer’s day, except that the man’s beauty will never fade, unlike the beauty of summer. In “My mistress’ eyes,” Shakespeare shows how is mistress is not perfect or beautiful, but he loves her anyway. Also, both sonnets talk about beauty beneath the surface. The underlying message of “My mistress’ eyes” is that the speaker doesn’t mind if his mistress’ lips are not red, if her skin is not white, and if her breath doesn’t smell like perfume. He loves her for what she is on the inside and how she acts, not what she looks like. In “Shall I compare thee,” Shakespeare first talks about the man’s beauty in comparison to summer, but then he says, “But thy eternal summer shall not fade,” meaning that Shakespeare also loves this man for his eternal beauty on the inside, as well as the outside. Therefore, both of these sonnets convey a similar message: love somebody for who they truly are, not for their appearance.

  2. Sunna

    Shakespeare’s sonnets, “Shall I compare thee” and “My mistress’ eyes” are both loving and complimentary poems, dedicated to his lovers. But I believe that the sonnet, “My mistress’ eyes” is actually much more complimentary than “Shall I compare thee”.

    First of all, the meaning of the poems isn’t as similar as they seem. “Shall I compare thee” speaks of how perfect and beautiful a young man is. “But thy eternal summer shall not fade,”, shows how his beauty is everlasting. This is a rather straightforward message, but meaningful, all the same.

    However, “My mistress’ eyes” is a bit more complicated. At first, it seems as though Shakespeare is belittling his mistress. We see later in the sonnet that he loves her just as she is, despite all of her flaws. It seems to me that this sonnet is more complimentary than “Shall I compare thee”. It’s easy to tell someone how beautiful they are, and to love someone who is seemingly perfect. But it is much more meaningful to love someone, knowing that they aren’t perfect. You can even go so far as to compare them to a perfect human being, but to love them, even if they aren’t this person, is the strongest love that anyone could have. It is much stronger than loving someone who you already see as perfect.

  3. Emma Garbowitz

    The sonnets “Shall I compare thee” and “My mistress’ eyes” are both two of Shakespeare’s great poems that convey strong meaning to the reader. Although these sonnets do have a similar message, their morals are different in a few ways. Throughout the poem of “Shall I compare thee”, Shakespeare is comparing the beauty of a young man to the beauty of summer. However, overtime, summer ends which means that the beauty comes to an end as well. But, the beauty of the man is always present, especially eternally and will never fade. The text states, “But thy eternal summer shall not fade,” This quote is showing how the man’s inner beauty is always within him and will forever be shown. Throughout the poem “My mistress’ eyes”, Shakespeare is trying to teach the reader about how what’s on the inside counts and you can’t just judge someone based on their physical beauty. Also, he is saying that nobody is perfect but there are always some good qualities within someone that makes you love them. The text states,
    “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As any she belied with false compare.”
    This shows how even after all the gross, odd things this woman is like, the author still loves her all the same because of who she is on the inside.
    After looking at these sonnets more closely, I have observed that they both talk about beauty but in different ways. In one of the poems, Shakespeare is saying how beauty is everlasting and will never fade, but in the other poem, he is saying that what’s on the inside counts and the outside shouldn’t have to matter. Beauty was a central theme that Shakespeare wanted his readers to understand, but it has many different perspectives. Beauty comes in all different shapes and forms but it just depends on how you look at things. Therefore, the sonnet “Shall I compare thee”, and “My mistress’ eyes” are both similar and different in many different ways.

  4. stephaniec

    The sonnets “Shall I compare thee” and “My mistress’ eyes” are two poems written by Shakespeare. They are both similar and different in many ways, such as rhythm, meaning, and description. They have the same abab cdcd efef gg rhythm scheme. Likewise, they are similar in that they are dedicated to two people that he loves very much. However, the way he describes his love for each person is different.

    In “Shall I compare thee”, Shakespeare essentially says that although summer’s beauty has an end, the man’s beauty does not. For example, when Shakespeare says “But thy eternal summer shall not fade”, he means that the man’s beauty and youth shall not leave him. In essence, Shakespeare says that in comparison to a summer’s day, the man is so much more.

    In contrast, “My mistress’ eyes” emphasizes more on the flaws of the woman and how they do not matter as much when love is present. Even though she has all these “flaws”, for example, “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;”, it does not change the fact that he loves her. In this poem, it is evident that he loves her despite the fact that no one is perfect. However, in the first poem Shakespeare acts as if the person is perfect.

  5. Myles Ng

    The sonnets “Shall I compare thee” and “My mistress’ eyes” are both sonnets written by the well known poet, Shakespeare. They are both complimenting and declaring love for someone, but for much different reasons. Like most of Shakespeare’s sonnets they both follow the same iambic pentameter and the same rhyme scheme.

    In “Shall I compare thee” Shakespeare focuses more on the perfections of his lover. Shakespeare acknowledges the fact that beauty is a fleeting thing. “And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;” He then says that his lover’s beauty will never fade. “But thy eternal summer shall not fade.” He knows things have and end, but his lover’s beauty doesn’t.

    “My mistress’ eyes” is more of a complicated view on beauty. At first it seems almost insulting to her. “Coral is far more red than her lips’ red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;” This poem, though insulting, is almost equal to the declaration of love in “Shall I compare thee.” He states that his mistress may not have perfect looks like the man in “Shall I compare thee,” but is equally as beautiful on the inside.

    “Shall I compare thee” is a poem about undying beauty of a man who in Shakespeare’s eyes is perfect, but “My mistress’ eyes” is a poem about inner beauty and the fact that no one is perfect, but he still loves her. Either way these poems both describe beauty, one way or another.

  6. Maddie

    The sonnets “My mistress’ eyes” and “shall I Compare thee” are similar and different in many ways. they are similar because they are both written with the same rhyme scheme. They are written with abab cdcd efef gg rhythm. They are also written by Shakespeare. Another similarity is that they both describe people that Shakespeare loved. They are both complimenting someone. The difference in these sonnets is that in “My mistress’ eyes” Shakespeare is describing a woman that he loves who is not very pretty. In “shall, compare thee” he is describing a young man that he loves, who he says is more beautiful than a summer’s day. In one sonnet, he talks about his love for someone on the inside, while in the other, he shares his love for someone’s physical beauty.

    1. Mikayla Friedman

      I agree with your analysis, but I also think that in addition to loving the man for his beauty in Shall I Compare Thee, Shakespeare also values the man’s personality because he says that his eternal summer, meaning his eternal beauty, will never fade away.

  7. trinityt

    The sonnets “Shall I compare thee” and “My mistress’ eyes” both have similarities and differences.
    As for similarities, besides from the fact that they are both written by Shakespeare, they were written with the abab cdcd efef gg rhythm. Also, the two poems were about someone that Shakespeare loved. Another example is that the poems both complimented the person that Shakespeare was talking about.
    However, the way that Shakespeare wrote about these two people is different.

    In the sonnet “Shall I compare thee” Shakespeare is talking about this young man that he loves. Shakespeare is saying how beautiful this young man is and that his beauty will live on forever. The line “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” is saying that the young man is being compare to a summer’s day meaning that the man is beautiful. The line “But thy eternal summer shall not fade,” means that the young man’s beauty will live on forever. The young man’s beauty is like a summer’s day, but his beauty will live on forever, unlike how summer time will come to an end.

    In the sonnet “My mistress’ eyes” Shakespeare is talking about this imperfect woman that he loves. He goes on talking about the flaws of the woman like, for example, how her lips is not as red as coral by saying “Coral is far more red than her lips’ red:” and other things about how imperfect this woman is. Yet in the end he says that he loves her because she is unique and is her own person by saying “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare”. This poem is to say that even though you are not perfect, I still love you.

    In addition, the two sonnets are different because the sonnet “Shall I compare thee” talks about physical beauty. On the other hand, the sonnet “My mistress’ eyes” talks about inner beauty.

  8. angelicac1

    The sonnets “Shall I compare thee” and “My mistress’ eyes” were poems written by Shakespeare that transmit deep meaning to readers. Both of these sonnets share the same abad cdcd efef gg rhythm. They both are dedicated to someone that Shakespeare loved yet they’re both complimentary in different ways.

    “Shall I compare thee” has a simple message about a young man’s outer beauty. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” is the first line of this sonnet and it compliments his beauty. “But thy eternal summer shall not fade” is the line that shows the message of how his beauty is eternal and everlasting.

    Unlike “Shall I compare thee”, “My mistress’ eyes” doesn’t have a straightforward message. While “Shall I compare thee” is about someone’s outer beauty, this sonnet focuses on someone’s inner beauty. Shakespeare starts off the sonnet with listing all the flaws of a mistress. As the sonnet ends, one of the last lines is “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare.” This lines concludes that despite all of the mistress’ flaws, he loves her for her own persona and individuality.

  9. Hannah M.

    In both of these Sonnets, “Shall I compare Thee” and “My Mistress’ eyes” written by Shakespeare both similar and different.

    For instance, some similarities can be how they both are written in a form of abab cdcd efef gg. Another thing that I’ve noticed is similar about the two sonnets is that Shakespeare is describing someone who he loves and they’re qualities and why he loves them.

    Some differences between the sonnets is the way in which Shakespeare describes them and why he loves them. In “Shall I compare Thee” he describes his love for this man to be from physical appearance. In “My Mistress’ Eyes” he says he loves her not for her appearance which was hideous but for her personality on the inside. In “Shall I Compare Thee” he describes his love for the person out of their beauty and how they’re more beautiful than a summers day. Also, in “My Mistress Eyes” Shakespeare doesn’t have as much as a straightforward flow like he does in “Shall I Compare Thee”. He talks about how hideous his Mistress’ in “My Mistress Eyes” and then it takes a turn and he says he loves her because of her personality which for me, I did not expect him to say that. In “Shall I compare Thee” it’s pretty obvious why he loves this person with the way he says he cannot be compared to a summers day and he is so beautiful.

    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I never thought of My Mistress’ Eyes not having a certain flow. That is a very interesting point! Furthermore, I agree with your descriptions about the two poems and it shows you truly understand the meaning.

  10. Emily

    Both “Shall I compare thee” and “My mistress’ eyes” are well known sonnets by Shakespeare. Although many seem to think that they are sending a different message, I have a different opinion. As many of the previous blogs have stated, the sonnet “My mistress’ eyes” is about internal beauty. Although this is true, it does not mean that the “Shall I compare thee” is shallow and only about physical appearances. In Shall I compare thee Shakespeare writes, “Thou art more lovely” and that the subject has a “gold complexion”, but this does not mean that it is shallow and just about appearances. The readers have no way of knowing who he wrote this sonnet for, so they do not know if the subject even lives up to regular beauty standards. One could interpret this as him saying something like “I know you’re beautiful even if no one else does.” While this may be a far fetched theory, it is still a probability and it is not fair to immediately knock it as a shallow declaration of appearances. Even if the message of internal beauty is more clear in “My mistress’ eyes”, it does not mean that it is only prevalent in that sonnet.

  11. Brishti

    Both Sonnet 18, “Shall I compare thee” and Sonnet 130, “My mistress’ eyes” are sonnets where Shakespeare proclaims his love for two different people. In “Shall I compare thee”, he is speaking to a young man about how he is more beautiful than the most perfect day of summer, and how his “eternal summer” shall not fade. In “My mistress’ eyes”, Shakespeare mentions how his mistress is not beautiful at all, but he still loves her regardless. Both sonnets bring up the idea of how you should love someone for their inner beauty. It may seem more straightforward in “My mistress’ eyes”, because he talks about how ugly she is for the entire sonnet, and then says how he loves her anyways, but the message is still present in “Shall I compare thee”, when Shakespeare talks about how “every fair from fair sometime declines”. Another thing that is simillar in both sonnets is how the person is being compared to another thing. In “Shall I compare thee”, Shakespeare is comparing the young man to summer, and how he is better than even the perfect day of summer. In “My mistress’ eyes”, Shakespeare compares her to lots of things, including the sun, coral, snow, wires, roses, perfumes, music, and a goddess, while he talks about how these things are more beautiful and pleasing than certain physical qualities of his mistress. At the end of “Shall I compare thee”, Shakespeare says how this man’s beauty shall last as long as people are alive to read this sonnet, and in “My mistress’ eyes”, he says how he loves this woman despite how unpleasent she looks.

  12. Sophie

    Two of Shakespeare’s most famous sonnets, Shall I Compare Thee and My Mistress’ Eyes, are similar and different in many ways. First off, they are similar in structure. Both sonnets share the same rhyme pattern and were written in iambic pentameter. Also they consist of 3 main quatrains with one couplet at the end. More importantly though, the two sonnets share similarities within the meanings of each poem. For example, Shakespeare’s love and compassion towards someone special. Sonnet 18 compares the person he loves to the wonderful characteristics of summer. Shakespeare expresses her outer beauty by relating it to lovely weather, and relates her inner beauty by relating it to cloudy weather. Even though cloudy weather can cover up the sun’s bright rays, it doesn’t mean that the beauty of summer has gone away. Just how no matter what happened to the persons outside, they will forever be beautiful on the inside. This is similar to sonnet 130. “And yet, by heaven, I think my love is rare. With any she belied with false compare.” Shakespeare is telling us here how he loves this person no matter what they look like on the outside.
    The two sonnets also have many differences within their meanings. Even though both sonnets are addressing feelings of love, Shakespeare expresses his feelings through different messages. Sonnet 18’s message is that Shakespeare believes his love is near perfect. He compares her beautiful qualities with other beautiful qualities from the world. In the end he painted one big beautiful picture. However, sonnet 130’s message is all about this love’s imperfections. Shakespeare teaches us the lesson that nobody is perfect, and nobody deserves to be negatively compared to a perfect image. “And in some perfumes is there more delight. Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks” This shows that even though her breath may not smell like fresh roses, nobody’s breath does!!! Overall, both sonnets 18 and 130 have similarities and differences that both teach us ways of appreciation and love.

  13. Casey

    Both of the sonnets we read in class today are similar and different in many ways. Similarly, both of the sonnets were written about people that the writer loved and expressing the good and bad qualities they have by using similes. In “Shall I Compare Thee”, the writer is comparing a loved one to the summer. The sonnet basically explains that even though the summer is beautiful, it does come to an end, but the person the sonnet was written about will always stay beautiful (unlike a summers day). The sonnet, “My Mistress’ Eyes”, is different because it seems like an insult towards the mistress. Many of the lines say things such as “And in some perfumes is there more delight, Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.” Upon closer analysis, we can see that the writer of the sonnet is explaining that his mistress is far from perfect, but no one has perfectly red lips or breath that smells like perfume. Therefore, the comparisons he was making were false, because they are impossible standards.

  14. jane

    The sonnets “My Mistress’ Eyes” and “Shall I Compare Thee?” are both similar, and different. First, they are similar in how they were written since they are both sonnets written by Shakespeare, and were written in the same time period. They are also both poems about love, but what makes them different is how Shakespeare shows his love. In “Shall I Compare Thee?”, Shakespeare says so many wonderful things about his love, saying she’s like summer, and that she will live forever with the poem. While on the other hand, “My Mistress’ Eyes” shows Shakespeare’s love’s differences with society’s view of beauty. He shows how his love isn’t perfect, but has a realalistic appearance, yet he loves her anyway. I think both of the poems are important since they both show Shakespeare’s love for someone, despite both of the sonnets using different techniques. One sonnet says his love is perfect, while the other shows how imperfect she is.

  15. Zoe

    The sonnets of “my Mistress Eyes” and “Shall I Compare Thee” are very similar as they connect with a theme of beauty. As you look more into the sonnet you realize My Mistress Eyes is saying that my mistress is nothing like beautiful coral and the sun and treads on the ground, not at all like a goddess, but that you still love her anyway. Shall I compare thee says a much different story, but still talks about beauty. It says that because he wrote this poem she will not grow old, she will keep her beauty, and she will live forever. Both are different, but I’m beginning to sense a theme that Shakespeare likes to write about; beauty and love.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *