Comparing Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 and Keats' Grecian Urn comparison compare contrast essays
Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 and Keats' Grecian Urn

������� Shakespeare's sonnet 18 ("Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?") and

Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" were written with a common purpose in mind; to

immortalize the subjects of their poems by writing them down in� verses for

people to read for generations to come.� By doing so, both of the poets are

preserving the beauty of the subjects, which are the young friend of Shakespeare

and Keats' "Grecian Urn."

������� Beginning with Sonnet 18, and continuing here and there throughout the

first major grouping of sonnets, Shakespeare approaches the problem of

mutability and the effects of time upon his beloved friend in a different

fashion.� Instead of addressing the problem of old age, he emphasises his

friend's attributes:

������� "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

������� Thou art more lovely and more temperate... (lines 1-2)" Though time and

death work together to rob man, and particularly the friend, of his youth and

beauty putting ugly wrinkles in his face and finally causing his death, the

friend's beauty can be made immortal in spite of the ravages of time and death.

Shakespeare asserts that his poetry will survive the destructive effects and,

since the subject of this poetry is his friend's beauty, it will immortalize his

beloved friend's beauty.� The poet can make the young man immortal in his verse.