an Urn comparison compare contrast essaysShakespeare’s Sonnet 18 and Keats’ Grecian UrnShakespeare’s sonnet 18 (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”) andKeats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” were written with a common purpose in mind; toimmortalize the subjects of their poems by writing them down in verses forpeople to read for generations to come.

By doing so, both of the poets arepreserving the beauty of the subjects, which are the young friend of Shakespeareand Keats’ “Grecian Urn.”Beginning with Sonnet 18, and continuing here and there throughout thefirst major grouping of sonnets, Shakespeare approaches the problem ofmutability and the effects of time upon his beloved friend in a differentfashion. Instead of addressing the problem of old age, he emphasises hisfriend’s attributes:”Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?Thou art more lovely and more temperate…

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(lines 1-2)” Though time anddeath work together to rob man, and particularly the friend, of his youth andbeauty putting ugly wrinkles in his face and finally causing his death, thefriend’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 hisbeloved friend’s beauty. The poet can make the young man immortal in his verse.


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