MCQ ( Multiple Choice Questions ) with answers from – Shall I Compare Thee?
- Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Is Sonnet no.-
Ans) c. 18
- The rhyme scheme of ‘Shall I compare thee’ is-
Ans ) Abab
- The theme that Shakespeare explores in Sonnet 18 is-
- Immortality of youth and beauty
- Carpe diem
- Death as an agent of nature
- Timelessness of poetry
Ans) d. Timelessness of poetry.
- Who is the sonnet addressed to-
- Shakespeare’s wife
- Queen Elizabeth
- A young woman
- A young man
Ans) d. A young man.
5.The poet compares his beloved to-
- A summer flower
- Summer breeze
- A summer’s day
- Summer tune
Ans) c. A summer’s day.
6.The word ‘temperate’ means-
Ans) b. Moderate.
7. Compared to a summer’s day, the poet’s friend is-
- more lovely and temperate
- more sweet and soothing
- more attractive and beautiful
- more sensuous and passionate
Ans) a. More lovely and temperate.
8. The rough winds of summer-
- Blow the flowers away
- Shake the darling buds of May
- Prevent the birds to fly
- Blow a beautiful scene
Ans) b. Shake the darling buds of May.
9. Summer has-
- Short duration
- Long duration
- Constant temperature
- Constant brightness
Ans) a. Short duration.
10. ‘The eye of heaven’ in Shakespeare’s Sonnet No 18 refers to-
- The sun
- The moon
- The poet
- The clouds
Ans) a. The sun.
11. How is the gold complexion of the sun dimmed-
- By the clouds
- By the shade of the tree
- By a canopy
- By the shade of a building
Ans) a. By the clouds.
12. The poet states that ‘fair’-
- Is subject to change
- Is the opposite of unfair
- Can only diminish marginally
- Is never subject to change
Ans) a. Is subject to change.
13. Nature’s changing course is-
Ans) c. untrimmed.
14. ‘But thy eternal summer shall not fade’. The word opposite in meaning to ‘eternal’ is-
Ans) c. Temporal.
15. Whose eternal summer shall not fade?
- The fair youth
- The black lady
- Queen Elizabeth
Ans) b. The fair youth.
16. The poet asserts that his friend will never lose possession of his-
Ans) c. Beauty.
17. ‘Nor shall death brag thou wand ‘rest in his shade,’- here ‘shade’ refers to-
- Talk loudly
- Talk cheerfully
- Claim boastfully
- Take away
Ans) c. Claim boastfully.
18. Death in the poem is personified as-
- Kind and helpful
- Sweet and smart
- Calm and quiet
- Proud and boastful
Ans) d. Proud and boastful.
19. The poet’s friend is expected to grow-
- With time
- With the eternal lines of the poem
- With the love of the poet
- With nature’s changing course
Ans) a. With time.
20. How can eternal summer be maintained?
- Through poem
- Through beauty
- Through preservation
- Through conservation
Ans) a. Through poem.
Short Answer Type Questions with answers from – Shall I Compare Thee?
- What is the structure of a Shakespearean sonnet?
Ans) The Shakespearean sonnet consist of 14 lines of iambic pentameter ending in a couplet.
- What are the last two lines of a Shakespearean sonnet called?
Ans) The last two lines of a Shakespearean sonnet is called a couplet.
- What is the number of the sonnet ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day’?
Ans) Of the 154 sonnets in the Shakespearean sonnet sequence, the 18th sonnet is ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day.
- Who has been referred to as ‘I’ in ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Ans) The poet William Shakespeare has been referred to as ‘I’ in ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day’.
5.What does Shakespeare compare his friend to?
Ans) Shakespeare compares his friend to a summer’s day.
- What adjective does the poet use to describe the beauty of the friend?
Ans) The poet uses the adjectives, ‘lovely’ and ‘temperate’ to describe the beauty of the friend.
- ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ – Does the speaker think that the comparison is proper and worthy?
Ans) The comparison is not proper to the poet because he thinks that the beauty of his friend is more lovely and temperate than the summer’s day.
- What shakes the darling buds of May?
Ans) Rough winds shake the darling buds of May.
- What is the simile in sonnet 18?
Ans) The simile in sonnet 18 is ‘A summer’s day’.
- What does ‘the eye of heaven’ refer to?
Ans) The eye of heaven refers to the sun in the poem.
- Why does ‘every fair from fair sometime declines’?
Ans) ‘Every fair from fair sometime declines’ due to nature’s unchanging course or by chance.
11. What demerits does the beauty of the sun possess?
Ans) The beauty of the sun is not constant. Sometimes the sun shines too brightly and at other times clouds in the sky hide it.
- How is the ‘gold complexion’ of the sun dimmed?
Ans) The ‘gold complexion’ of the sun is dimmed by the clouds, which gather in the sky with the approach of the storm.
- Why does ‘every fair from fair sometime declines’?
Ans) With the passage of time everything fair declines and loses its beauty.
- What is meant by the term ‘eternal summer’?
Ans) The term ‘eternal summer’ refers to the everlasting beauty of the poet’s friend.
- Who shall not brag about claiming the life of the poet’s friend?
Ans) Death will not brag about claiming the life of the poet’s friend.
- ‘…thou wand ‘rest in his shade’, – Whose shade is referred to by ‘his shade’?
Ans) Here the words ‘his shade’ refer to the shadow of death.
16.What will death not do to the poet’s friend?
Ans) Death will not be able to boastfully drag the poet’s friend to its shade.
- According to Shakespeare, how can eternal summer be maintained?
Ans) According to Shakespeare eternal summer can be maintained through the lines of his poetry, which will live eternally.
17.’And this gives life to thee’- What is meant by this line?
Ans) Through this line the poet tries to convey that his poetry would make his friend eternal.
18. How does sonnet 18 end?
Ans) Sonnet 18 ends in a rhymed couplet.
19. What is the message of the sonnet?
Ans) The message conveyed in the sonnet is that Shakespeare’s verse will be ever remembered. His poetry would be eternal and those whom he depicts in his poetry would also live eternally through the lines in his verse.
20. What are the themes of Shakespeare’s sonnet ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Ans) The themes that are discussed in Shakespeare’s ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day’ are the brevity of time, the temporal nature of beauty and life and the timelessness of his own poetry.
Descriptive/Analytical Questions with Answers from – Shall I Compare Thee?
- Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day’- Who makes the comparison? Who is compared to ‘a summer’s day’? What are the blemishes of summer?
Ans) The poet William Shakespeare makes the comparison in his sonnet no 18.
The poet compares the beauty of his friend to a summer’s day.
The poet says that summer is short-lived. It is not more beautiful than his friend. In summer the sun rays are too bright or the clouds cover them at times. The beauty of summer is not permanent. A typical summer day comes to an end very soon unlike the beauty of the friend.
- ‘Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, /And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.’ How does the poet focus on the theme of ‘time and love’ in the above lines?
Ans) In Sonnet no 18, the poet William Shakespeare discusses the fleeting nature of time. The first quatrain of the poem establishes the fact that his friend’s beauty is more permanent than the summer day’s. Even the bright rays of the summer sun cannot surpass the beauty of the friend. The little soft buds of May are swayed vigorously by the summer winds. Sometimes fleeting clouds cover the bright sun of the summer. Sometimes the sun is too hot and at times it cannot be seen at all. The beauty of the summer is therefore too frivolous and short. The word ‘lease’ refers to a contract and the season of summer has too short a lease. So the beauty of summer has a fixed time to stay and fade away in no time. This suggests that Shakespeare wants to establish the fact that his friend’s beauty is more permanent eternal than even the summer. This testifies Shakespeare’s glorification of love and triumphs over time. Shakespeare asserts the power of his poem over time, which is the master of all.
- ‘Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines, /And often is his gold complexion dimmed;’- What is the figure of speech used in ‘eye of heaven’? What makes the ‘gold complexion’ dim? What does the poet imply in the above lines?
Ans) The figure of speech used in ‘eye of heaven’ is periphrasis.
The ‘eye of heaven’ refers to the sun.
The ‘gold complexion’ means the golden rays of the sun. Fleeting clouds in the sky dims the gold complexion of the sun.
The sun lits up everything in the world and makes things look bright and beautiful. But the sun rays are subject to change as clouds coming in front of the sun can diminish the sunrays and make everything look dull. Sometimes the rays of the sun are scorching and unbearable. At other times the rays become dim. The vitality of the sunrays diminishes with the passage of time. The poet means to say that nothing is permanent, Even the sun rays are subject to change. Every natural object loses its vitality with the passage of time/ The poet wants to imply that the beauty of the poet’s friend is beyond the wear and tear of time. His beauty will never dim or lose its vitality. The beauty of the poet’s friend will withstand the ravages of time.
- ‘By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed’. – What make Shakespeare mention ‘nature’s changing course’? Discuss.
Ans) The law of Nature makes every beautiful object lose its grace with the passage of time. Nothing is permanent on this earth. Shakespeare raises the issue of the impermanence of nature to establish the fact that the beauty of his friend is much superior and everlasting than the changing course of Nature. It is predestined that every mortal thing would lose its loveliness either due to misfortune or by the natural process of decay. But Shakespeare confidently says that his friend would never lose his beauty or fade away like other mortal elements, as he would make him immortal through the lines of his verse. His friend would continue to have his place in this world through his sonnets.
- ‘…and this gives life to thee.’ – What does ‘this’ refer to? Whom does ‘you’ refer to? How does ‘this’ give life?
Ans) ‘This’ refers to Shakespeare’s poetry, his Sonnet no 18.
‘Thee’ refers to the poet’s friend whose everlasting beauty is the theme of this sonnet.
In this mortal world every object is subject to decay and death. The inevitable ravages of time devour all the elements of nature. So, beauty can never be preserved permanently unless it is eternalized in the poetry of Shakespeare. The poet is confident that his poetry has the power to eternalize his friend’s beauty. As long as human beings live and as long as people read his poetry his sonnet which is written about his friend would live on. His poetry would give life to his friend again and again. Thus he would eternalize his friend’s beauty through the lines of his verse.
- What images of summer do we find in the poem ‘Shall I compare Thee to a summer’s day?’
Ans) Shakespeare has used different images of summer to compare his friend’s beauty and establish that his friend is even more beautiful than a bright summer day. He says that his friend is lovelier and more temperate than a summer’s day. He tells about the rough winds, which shake the darling buds of May. The poet also gives the picture of the bright and clear sky of summer being suddenly dimmed by clouds. Sometimes the sun shines so brightly that it can be scorching while at other times its brightness is dimmed which concludes that the beauty of summer is not stable. The poet uses contrasting images of summer to bring out the fact that his friend’s beauty is more permanent and stable than summer.
- Comment on the last two lines of the poem.
Ans) The last two lines of the couplet are the concluding lines of Shakespeare’s Sonnet no 18. In these lines we see the poet expressing his hope of immortalizing his friend’s beauty through the lines of his verse. In the poem we see that he finds his friend more beautiful than the summer’s day. The poet establishes the fact that nothing is permanent in this world, not even a summer’s day. Everything beautiful is subject to decay. But the poet says that his friend’s beauty is more temperate than a summer’s day and it will never decay because he would take the responsibility to make it immortal through the lines of his verse. Even death cannot drag his friend into oblivion because his friend would survive the ravages of time and death through his verse. As long as the human race would survive and read his poetry his friend would live amongst the lines of his verse. His poetry would give his friend an eternal life which even death can not take away.
- Substance of the poem.
Ans) The sonnet begins with the poet’s question as to whether he could compare the beauty of his friend with that of the summer’s day. The poet finally compares the beauty of the friend with that of the summer’s day and states that the beauty of his friend is more temperate than the summer’s day. Summer’s day is inconsistent as the summer sun is either too hot or clouded and dimmed at times. Often the rough winds shake the buds of May. But the poet is confident that the beauty of his friend is going to withstand the ravages of time. The poet is confident that his poetry will eternalize his friend and bestow immortality on him. As long as men can live and breathe his poetry would ensure that his friend would be remembered and the beauty of his friend would live forever.
- Significance of the Title.
Ans) The Sonnet no 18 appears in the Sonnet sequence of Shakespeare. We generally take the first lines of the sonnets as the title of the sonnets as Shakespeare has not given any separate title for them. The sonnet is a tribute to the beauty of his friend and the eternal appeal of his friend’s beauty through his verse. Shakespeare is confident that the beauty of his friend would be eternal, as he would live long in the lines of his poetry, as his own poetry would surely be remembered forever. The poet has compared the beauty of his friend with that of a bright summer day stating that the beauty of summer is temporal whereas the beauty of his friend is permanent. The inevitable destruction caused by time is experienced by every element. The sonnet would mark the victory of his love over the ravages of time and his friend’s beauty immortal. The concluding couplet announces that the transience of time would not be able to destroy his friend’s beauty, which he would make sure to eternalize in his own verse.
- The central idea of the poem.
Ans) The poem ‘Shall I compare Thee to a summer’s day’ testifies to Shakespeare’s high idealism of love and his glorification of its triumph even over time. The poet pays a tribute to the eternal appeal of his friend’s beauty through his verse. Shakespeare is confident that his friend’s beauty will surely resist the ravages of time where even the fairest elements of nature lose its beauty in the course of time. But his friend’s beauty is everlasting and permanent. The sonnet would mark the victory of his love over time and make his friend’s beauty immortal. The concluding couplet announces that transience of time would not be able to devour his friend’s beauty as Shakespeare’s love for his friend would beat the cycle of time and eternalize the friend’s beauty through these written lines.