The poems I have chosen to analyse are Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? by William Shakespeare, which focuses on the idea of beauty, and Ode To Autumn by John Keats which expresses change through personifying autumn. Both poets use a range of poetic techniques in their poems which I will present to you today.
William Shakespeare’s, Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? compares the beauty of his love to a summer’s day with the theme of the poem being beauty. The sonnet is number eighteen of the one hundred and fifty-four sonnets he wrote between 1593 and 1609. The sonnet consists of three quatrains and a rhyming couplet. The first two quatrains express that her beauty is far more wonderful than a summer’s day, the third quatrain and the rhyming couplet concludes how she will not lose possession of her beauty for he will capture it in his verses. Shakespeare uses a range of comparisons with summer to bring out his argument clearly to the audience. Shakespeare begins the sonnet with a rhetorical question ‘shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ giving the audience a clear idea of what the poem is about. The use of metaphors suggests summers ‘flaws’ as to why summer is not comparable to his love as ‘summer’s lease hath all too short a date’ and ‘too hot the eye of heaven shines’ but he emphasizes that ‘thy eternal summer shall not fade’. Alliteration is also used in the sonnet to illustrate how ‘fair from fair’ beauty declines over time. Shakespeare also personifies death but stresses that ‘Death shall drag’ suggesting to the audience that death shall not have the power to destroy his loves’ beauty. Repetition is used at the beginning of each line in the rhyming couplet. Written is ‘So long’ meaning the poem will live on making her beauty eternal. The tone at the start of the poem is light-hearted and airy as he compares his love to a summers day, however, later the tone changes to almost frustration as Shakespeare states that his lover is so much more than a summers day as her? beauty lasts forever. Shakespeare develops the answer to his rhetorical question as the poem progresses through using an array of poetic techniques
Autumn is an ode and was the final piece of work in a group of poems known as Keats ‘1819 odes’. The poem personifies the season of autumn while developing an underlying theme of change. It consists of three stanzas, each representing a different time in autumn; the first stanza signifies the beginning of autumn, the second harvest time and the third the ending of autumn. The progression of the season throughout the stanzas implies the idea of change to the audience. Ode to Autumn is rich in imagery, helping to heighten the readers five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Each stanza expresses the senses. In the first stanza sound, smell, and taste are brought out by the ‘--mists and mellow...