Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Comparing Thee to Summer

Sonnet XVIII

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 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 wander'st 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 gives life to thee.

During my high school years… the Malaysian education ministry wanted to introduce literature to the students of Malaysia, and therefore students were forced to do literature as part of the Malay and English language subjects.

I wonder if a lot of thought was put into the selection of the literature for students… especially for English. Firstly abridged versions of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and also The Phantom of the Opera were some of the texts… In my opinion, having high school students read an abridged version is an insult to our intelligence. Either pick an easier text, or use the full ‘normal’ un-abridged version for high school students.

Something I would like to highlight is the study of Sonnet XVIII by William Shakespeare. Sometimes it makes me wonder if the folks up there really did any research before selecting this piece of text for the English literature syllabus… Yes true, Sonnet XVIII is arguably one of his most famous Sonnets… But it is also the very Sonnet that verifies to its audience that the Sonnet was written by Shakespeare for another man. Ahaha… does this mean the education ministry is okay with teaching homoerotic literature in high school? Woohoo score one for us!

Sonnet XVIII romantically describes the love of Shakespeare for another guy… as he compares his lover to a summer’s day. Does this make Shakespeare gay? I don’t know and cannot answer that. To me it doesn’t matter if he is gay… whatever he is, he still wrote great things. He was married and had three children… Nonetheless it would also be hard to deny that this particular Sonnet was written for another man, proving that Shakespeare might have some homoerotic tendencies…


  1. Well, has our Government ever thought anything through?

  2. i recheck my lit.book.

    Msian version:

    And often is HER gold complexion dimmed,
    And every fair from fair sometime declines

    Original version:

    And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
    And every fair from fair sometime declines

    See how creative our educators are

  3. Yea Paul, its great.

    Haha Bbear... recite it to salmon :) in your bearday suit... I'm sure he'll apreciate it... LoL

    Yea Will, I wonder... But if Ichi is right... then maybe they did put some thought in it.

    Ichi, you're kidding right...? Are you absolutely positively sure? Coz if that's the case... We will be the laughing stock of the world yet again. Not only do we study abridged texts (at secondary school level)... but now we study fake modified versions... sigh