As an English major, most people expect me to be obsessed with Shakespeare and have some ability to quote every single play and poem he has ever written. I am not, and I really don't have that ability. I have no interest in that ability, because I, in my personal opinion, believe it would be torture having to read his works enough times to memorize them.
Do not get me wrong, Shakespeare's works are beautiful, they just are not parallel with my own taste. I understand why they are honored, but I just see them as a great sleep aid.
One sonnet by dear William does stand out to me, because it is the perfect representation of any work of art that is made to honor a person, whether a lover or friend. Sonnet 18, also known as "Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day?," is the explanation of the beauty of almost every single song that plays on the radio today.
No, I do not have it memorized, and I do not expect any one else to. To refresh the mind, the sonnet reads, "Thou art more lovely and more temperate, / Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, / And summer's lease hath all too short a date. / Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, / And often is his gold complexion dimmed; / And every fair from fair sometime declines, / By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed; / But thy eternal summer shall not fade, / Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st, / Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade, / When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st. / So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, / So long lives this, and this life to thee."
Shakespeare's sonnet shows the beauty of art and writing. I've had a passion for writing for the past decade—half of my life—and I never fully understood the power of the skill until I examined this work. Usually, I simply stare at Shakespeare confused and wonder when I can stop. But this sonnet was different, this sonnet enlightened my mind and led me to understanding.
William Shakespeare, a unique man who haunts students to this day, was giving immortality to the person he loved, possibly his wife Anne Hathaway (yes, that is also the name of the Princess Diaries actress). In his work, he describes her beauty and her complex personality. He describes his focus in a way that enables readers to this day to picture her, because everyone experiences the weather in the world around us, the same one he did centuries before as he admired her. Her image—her beauty—has never died, even though she did long ago, because of this short sonnet.
This sonnet describes the power of art and writing because it forever locks in the beauty of a person. Every love song describing the person the singer adores is giving life forever to the subject. As I listen to the radio now, I take the time to appreciate such power words can have.
So, yes, Shakespeare may seem to some like a classy version of Zzzquil, but I have to give the man credit for explaining the power of what seems like every song, even the cheesy or bad ones that make me cringe.