This is a sonnet I chose for no other reason than that it is sweet and famous. Because part of my mission for p4 is to present both well known and little-known sonnets, I felt it necessary to include one as famous as this. However I feel it is necessary bring an original take on this oft-quoted sonnet. Therefore I decided to illustrate it with a Lolcat.
Now, lolcats (for those of you who don’t know) pictures of cats doing funny things with captions (actually, lolcaptions) which are an odd mix of profanity, awkward geek culture, and total cuteness.
My comparison between this lolcat and Sonnet 18 is tongue in cheek, but brings up some interesting similarities. It is important for us to remember today that Shakespeare wrote popular literature in his time and that English sonnet form was relatively modern. While his sonnets were not written for publications his plays certainly were, and most of them were commercially viable and in some cases commercially motivated (see his kind portrayal of the Tudors in his histories while under Elizabeth I). The first English Sonnet writer is generally said to be Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542) and so in writing sonnets Shakespeare was partaking of a form that was a little more than 50 years old. In a way, Shakespeare’s use of the sonnet form was as innovative as this author’s use of a lolcat in expressing love.
The primary reason I chose this particular lolcat with this particular lolcaption was because, like Sonnet 18, it seeks to express a moment of fervent love. It is the heartrending need to not be parted, that passionate grace which descends on lovers occasionally. Different as the mediums are, the message feels of these two pieces feel the same to me. Please enjoy the text of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18:
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
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 dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
“No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the love of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth.” Robert Southey