’s “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun”
And “Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day?” Essay, Research Paper
Nature To Love Ones In Shakespeare’s “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun”
and “Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day?”
In the poems “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” and “My Mistress’
Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun”, William Shakespeare compares his loved ones to
nature. He uses natural elements in order to show that nature is superior to
human beings. However, the poet comes to the conclusion that despite the fact
that nature is more perfect than human beings, he loves his lovers more than
nature for the unique qualities that human beings have over nature.
Already from the titles of the poems, one can notice that nature is
superior to humankind. In the poem “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun”
the reader can assume that the writer thinks that the sun is more beautiful and
is better than his mistress’ eyes. The sun is a symbol of happiness and the joy
of life. When the writer sees the sun’s rays it gives him joy. By saying that
his mistress’ eyes do not look like the sun it means that when he looks at her
eyes she does not reflect happiness or joy. Her eyes do not shine like the sun.
The nature appears more powerful than humankind.
In the title of the poem “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”,
Shakespeare is debating whether or not his love one is worth being compare to a
summer day. Unlike the first poem, the poet does not know what the answer is
from the title or whether it is fair to compare nature to her. However, as the
reader read through the poem he gets an answer from the poet. Just the thought
whether his loved one is worth being compared to nature gives away the poet’s
assumption that nature is superior to humankind.
Throughout all the poem “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun”,
Shakespeare shows how nature is better than his loved one by comparing nature
and his mistress. He shows all the great things of nature and all the faults of
humans. For instance, he shows how colorful and lovely the colors of the roses
are but his lover does not seem to have this colors on her cheeks. “I have seen
rosesdamask’d, red and white,/ but no such roses see I in her cheeks.” (537; 5-
To show the perfection of nature, Shakespeare compares the color of snow
to the color of his mistress breasts. He wonders why the color of her breasts
are grayish- brown if the color of the snow is white, “If snow be white, why
then her breasts are dun;” ( l. 3).
Nature can make snow to be white, which is a perfect color where human
colors are not so perfect, and therefore nature again is appeared to be more
superior than human beings. Shakespeare also compares his mistress’ lips
to coral. He thinks that her lips are not as red as a coral is. “Coral is far
more red than her lips’ red” ( l.2). Coral color is a very bright red. He
suggests that his mistress’ lips do not have the bright red color that coral has.
Once again Shakespeare shows humankind faults, and nature’s perfection.
Shakespeare uses the summer season as a natural element in order to
compare his lover to it in the poem “shall I Compare Thee To a Summer Day?”. He
is not sure whether or not his lover is like summer’s day. According to
Shakespeare, life pass fast like summer. Before you know it summer and life are
over. As the summer gets to its end, you can feel the cold air and the change
from summer to fall. The same is with life. As life gets to the end the person
is physically changes, and he can feel the end. However, Shakespeare believes
that his loved one beauty is for eternity. She will remain beautiful forever.
” And every fair from fair sometimes declines,
by chance or nature’s changing course untrimmed;
But the eternal summer shall not fade,
nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;” ( p.507 l. 7-10)
In the beginning nature is superior than humans because unlike human
being summer keeps coming back. Once his loved one died she won’t come back.
However nature seems inferior at the end since his loved one beauty is for
In “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”, Shakespeare makes use of
how powerful nature is compared to that of human beings. An example for that is
when he shows how the sun has control over the skin color of humankind.
“Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,/ And often in his gold complexion
dimmed;” ( l. 5-6) When it is too hot the sun has the ability to make the skin
color of man darker. Not only nature is superior to human, it is also has the
power over it. This lines emphasize how the role of the nature is much greater
than the Humankind’s role.
In “My Mistress’ Eyes are Nothing like the Sun”, after showing
throughout all the poem the inferiority of human being to nature, Shakespeare
changed his attitude by saying that despite his mistress faults and despite the
fact that nature is superior to her, he loves her more than nature. ” And yet,
by heaven, I think my love as rare/ As any she belied with false compare”.
(l.13-14) Shakespeare loves his mistress so much, and he realizes that the way
he compared her to nature does not represent the way he feels about her, and it
does not represent her. After all she is not as inferior to nature as he thought
in the beginning.
In “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”, at the end of the poem
Shakespeare came to the conclusion that his loved one can not be compared to
His love to her is for eternity, and despite the fact that nature has
more control and power he will not give up his love. The comparison of summer to
his loved one is fault, since the love for summer can fade at some point but his
loved to her will never fade. As long as there is life in this world, she will
live as well. ” So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,/ So long lives this,
and this gives life to thee.” (l. 13-14).
In both poems Shakespeare love to his lovers is much greater and
superior than nature. In the beginning, it seems as if nature is superior to
human but at the end of every poem both the poet and the reader come to the
conclusion that nature after all is inferior to human beings. The appearance and
power of nature may be superior to humans but humankind has their own unique
qualities within that makes