Sonnet 18; Last Evening
Sonnet 18 Illustrated by a cropped portion of a painting by Tissot which shows a suitor on board ship speaking to a young girl in a bow deck chair; Painting entitled "Last Evening"; Sonnet 18, often alternately titled Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?, is one of the best-known of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. Part of the Fair Youth sequence, it is the first of the cycle after the opening sequence now described as the Procreation sonnets. Most scholars now agree that the original subject of the poem, the beloved to whom the poet is writing, is a male, though the poem is commonly used to describe a woman. In the sonnet, the poet compares his beloved to the summer season, and argues that his beloved is better. The poet also states that his beloved will live on forever through the words of the poem.