Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Shakespeare's "Sonnet 18" has many features of a medieval lyric. A medieval lyric has several distinct features. The most important feature of a lyric is its point of view; a lyric is always written in the first person. Additionally, a lyric often appears to have been written to be accompanied by music; it will have a very melodic tone. This "musical" feature will also appear as rhythms and rhyme patterns throughout the poem. Most Sonnets are lyrics and Shakespeare's "Sonnet 18" is no exception.

As we look at Sonnet 18, we can see that the poem is indeed written in the first person. In line 1 Shakespeare begins with, "Shall I compare the to a summer's day?" He continues with line 2 "Thou art more lovely and more temperate". Line 7 also gives evidence of the first person with "But thy eternal summer shall not fade".

Sonnet 18 meets the most important feature of a lyric.

One of the other important features of a lyric is its melodic tone. Sonnet 18 has this with its rhyming scheme and in patterns throughout the poem. For instance, we can see that the last word of lines 1 and 3 (day and may) rhyme. The same thing occurs with lines 2 and 4 (temperate and date). This pattern is continued in lines 5 and 7 with the words shines and declines. Lines 6 and 8 continue this pattern with dimmed and untrimmed. Fade and shade make up the rhyme in lines 9 and 11; owest and growest make up lines 10 and 12 and see and thee are the rhymes for lines 13 and 14. We can see from these rhyming patterns that this poem would work well when set to music; the rhymes set a...