The speaker

The speaker of William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18” is most likely a poetic persona of the writer. The poem is written in the first person which helps create an intimate atmosphere. 

“Sonnet 18” is one of a sequence of sonnets addressed to a “fair youth” (a beautiful young man). The speaker’s tone suggests that he might be a close friend or a lover of the young man. He addresses the young man directly throughout the poem: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” (l. 1)

The speaker dedicates the first part of the poem to praising the young man’s beauty and personality: “Thou art more lovely and more temperate” (l. 2). This shows the speaker’s affection towards the young man. Therefore, the first part of the sonnet seems to be focused entirely on the person who is at the center of the poem....

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