1026: Compare and Contrast

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Compare and Contrast
Frankly, I see no difference between thee and a summer's day. Only Ron Paul offers a TRUE alternative!
Title text: Frankly, I see no difference between thee and a summer's day. Only Ron Paul offers a TRUE alternative!


This comic is a reference to the sonnet by William Shakespeare, which is called "Sonnet 18" in which the first line is: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?". And that is what Randall is attempting to do here in his own way, comparing who I assume is his special lady friend to a "Summer's Day". The first line is a reference to the sonnet itself, which reads: "Thou art more lovely and more temperate". Shakespeare woos women with sonnets and Randall with charts. This certainly seems to be a love letter (love comic? love chart?) to one specific person (Megan?) because not too many people have been arrested for releasing snakes in the library.

The last line in a sexual reference, on the "thee" side, not on the "summer's day" side.

In Shakespeare's day, English had informal pronouns and formal pronouns, thee and thou (informal), and you (formal). This is similar to what is still used today in Spanish (and other languages) with usted being formal, and tú being informal. Wikipedia has a nice chart for all of English's personal pronouns, current and archaic.

From a literary standpoint, Sonnet 18 is not about a woman but rather addressed to a young man (sonnets 1-126 are), the rest of them is addressed to a ‘dark lady’. But, through time this has been almost forgotten, certainly it has been in most circles.

And of course, the title text is a reference to Ron Paul, Republican candidate for President who is currently in the Republican Primary against a few other challengers for the nomination. Ron Paul is frequently represented on the internet using similar language to the image text. Paul is seen as an alternative because he is a strict Libertarian and believes the government should be as small as possible and stay out of people's lives. People who support Ron Paul believe him to be the only true alternative to the other Republican candidates currently in the race.


[A checklist comparing thee to a summer's day:
Fair, Temperate:Thee & A Summer's Day
Hot, Sticky: Thee & A Summer's Day
Short: Thee
Harbinger of Hurricane Season: A Summer's Day
Required for a Good Beach Party; Thee & A Summer's Day
Major Cause of Heat Stroke in the Elderly: A Summer's Day
Linked to Higher Rates of Juvenile Delinquency: Thee & A Summer's Day
Sometimes Too Stifling: Thee & A Summer's Day
Arrested for Releasing Snakes in Library: Thee
Difficult to Focus on Work While I'm In: Thee & A Summer's Day]

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Commenter J. Curwen posted a link to a modern paraphrasing of Sonnet 18. I think it would be appropriate to repost it here. http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/18detail.html lcarsos (talk) 17:58, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Shakespeare woos Randall with charts? Holy ambiguous dependent, Batman! - Frankie (talk) 12:47, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

I prefer to believe that thou art in fact harbinger of hurricane season, and a major cause of heatstroke in the elderly ;) PotatoGod (talk) 05:26, 22 December 2017 (UTC)