Summary and Interpretation
The narrator of the poem first asks whether he should compare his beloved to a beautiful summer’s day. He then realizes that his beloved is more beautiful than that and lists a number of reasons why.
However he also states the reasons why summer is not all that great, such as its winds will shake the buds that emerges in Spring and that it ends too quickly or sometimes too hot. He mends this list with a statement saying that his beloved’s beauty will never fade though.
Also death will never be able to take his beloved since it has been inked onto the lines of this poem and as long as it exist and people read it her beloved shall continue to live.
Line 1 – 4 (stanza 1) first quatrain
The narrator wonders if he should compare his beloved to a summer’s day. He decides that his beloved is more beautiful than a summer’s day and also more temperate. He also talks about summer saying it is not all good; it threatens the flower buds of May and is also too short.
Comparing the characteristics of someone to nature in this case; he compares his beloved to a day of the season of summer. Without much deliberation he jumps straight to the conclusion that his beloved is more beautiful than a summer’s day. Summer can be hot and windy, and also does not last long. Does he mean it’s fated to end? Perhaps he means that for his beloved’s beauty as well and also that she might be bad sometimes as well.
Line 5 – 8 (stanza 2) second quatrain
The sun can be too hot and sometimes it cannot even be seen at all. Everything that is fair or beautiful must eventually disappear whether by chance or through the natural flow of time.
He personifies the sun using the eye of heaven and other words like complexion which usually refers to humans.
If we relate this quatrain to the first one then we deduce that true beauty is not affected by chance or time.
Line 9 – 12 (stanza 3) third quatrain