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Question

What ideas about the effects of time does shakespeare convey in sonnet 18 and sonnet 116?

Answer

In both Sonnet 18 and Sonnet 116, Shakespeare discusses the impact of time in distinct ways. Sonnet 18 illustrates the damaging effects of time through vivid imagery and metaphors while highlighting the beauty of the beloved, which surpasses the ravages of time. Though summer is depicted as volatile and vulnerable to fate, the beloved's eternal beauty is compared to "eternal summer," and the poem suggests that love and art can preserve beauty forever. In contrast, Sonnet 116 has a more hopeful perception of time, implying that true love can endure changes and remain constant. The poem suggests that love is not affected by time or disastrous events, but is an unchanging force that endures. The speaker posits that love is the most potent element in the universe, surpassing time's effects. Ultimately, both Sonnet 18 and Sonnet 116 propose that time can be powerful, but love and beauty are even more profound, enduring long after adversity has passed.