William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is considered to be one of, if not the, most important English-language writers of all time. His plays and poems are read all over the world. Read more about William Shakespeare.

Some of Shakespeare’s most famous sonnets include Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?, Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true mindsand Sonnet 130:  My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun.

Sonnet 112

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 112,’ also known as ‘Your love and pity doth th’ impression fill,’ emphasizes the speaker’s obsession with the Fair Youth. He spends the lines reminding the Youth of how important his opinion is. 

Sonnet 113

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 113,’ also known as ‘Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind,’ is a demonstration of Shakespeare’s speaker’s love for the Fair Youth. He sees him in every animal, plant, and landscape he encounters. 

Sonnet 114

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 114,’ also known as ‘Or whether doth my mind, being crowned with you,’ is a poem about how one speaker interprets the world. Everything he sees and experiences is filtered through images of the person he loves.

Sonnet 115

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 115,’ also known as ‘Those lines that I before have writ do lie,’ is a poem about the ever-maturing nature of the speaker’s love for the Fair Youth. 

Sonnet 116

by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 116: ‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds’ by William Shakespeare is easily one of the most recognizable sonnets of all time. It explores the nature of love and what “true love” is.

Sonnet 117

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 117,’ also known as ‘Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all,’ is a poem that delves into the complexities of relationships. The poet’s speaker emphasizes everything he’s done wrong and makes use his beloved understands them all.

Sonnet 118

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 118,’ also known as ‘Like as, to make our appetites more keen,’ by William Shakespeare uses metaphors to depict the current state of the speaker and Fair Youth’s relationship.

Sonnet 119

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 119,’ also known as ‘What potions have I drunk of siren tears,’ is a complicated poem in which the speaker describes a relationship he had with a woman. He admits it was a mistake.

Sonnet 12

by William Shakespeare

Read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 12, also known as ‘When I do count the clocks that tell the time,’ with a deep dive analysis into the poem.

Sonnet 120

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 120,’ also known as ‘That you were once unkind befriends me now,’ is one of several sonnets the speaker spends apologizing for his infidelity. He hopes their sins will cancel one another out. 

Sonnet 121

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 121,’ also known as ‘‘Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed,’ is a poem about corruption and honesty. The speaker declares his intolerance of hypocrites who try to judge him. 

Sonnet 122

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 122,’ also known as ‘Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain,’ explores the speaker’s rejection of a simple gift he received from the Youth. He explains it away through a return to his regular devoted attitude. 

Sonnet 123

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 123,’ also known as ‘No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change,’ is a poem about time and change. The speaker asserts that time isn’t going to change him as it does others. 

Sonnet 124

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 124,’ also known as ‘If my dear love were but the child of state,’ is a poem about the speaker’s superior love. It has withstood a great deal and will last the test of time. 

Sonnet 125

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 125,’ also known as ‘Were’t ought to me I bore the canopy,’ is an expression of the speaker’s love for the Fair Youth. He declares the type of love he’s prepared to give and what he wants in return.

Sonnet 126

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 126,’ also known as ‘O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy pow’r,’ is the final Fair Youth sonnet. It is a beautiful exploration of time and the inevitability of death.

Sonnet 127

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 127,’ also known as ‘In the old age black was not counted fair,’ explores changing opinions on beauty and the use of makeup in Shakespeare’s contemporary world.

Sonnet 128

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 128,’ also known as ‘How oft when thou, my music, music play’st,’ is a sensuous poem. In it, the speaker describes the way his mistress plays the harpsichord and how he longs to touch her.

Sonnet 129

by William Shakespeare

Read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129, ‘Th’ expense of spirit in a waste of shame,’ with a summary and complete analysis of the poem.

Sonnet 13

by William Shakespeare

Read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 13, also known as ‘O! That you were yourself; but, love, you are,’ with a deep dive analysis into the poem.

Sonnet 130

by William Shakespeare

When contemporary poets chose to glorify their loved ones by using hyperbolic expressions, Shakespeare preferred an unflattering and realistic tone in his ‘Sonnet 130’. The speaker of this sonnet ignores all the elevating epithets and stays in solace with his beloved as she is.

Sonnet 131

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 131,’ also known as ‘Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art,’ is a poem about how the Dark Lady’s beauty moves the speaker. He knows she’s untraditionally beautiful but he doesn’t care.

Sonnet 132

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 132,’ also known as ‘Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me,’ describes the impact the Dark Lady’s eyes have on the speaker. She controls him and he has to accept that.

Sonnet 133

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 133,’ also known as ‘Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan,’ is a poem about the speaker’s toxic relationship with the Dark Lady. He tries to find a way to improve his circumstances but admits he’s trapped.

Sonnet 134

by William Shakespeare

Read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 134, ‘So now I have confessed that he is thine,’ with a summary and complete analysis of the poem.

Sonnet 135

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 135,’ also known as ‘Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will,’ is an unusual sonnet within Shakespeare’s oeuvre. It expresses the speaker’s desire to sleep with the Dark Lady and counted among her many lovers.

Sonnet 136

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 136,’ also known as ‘If thy soul check thee that I come so near,’ is one of the “Will” sonnets. It describes the speaker’s lust for the Dark Lady.

Sonnet 137

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 137,’ also known as ‘Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes,’ is about the speaker’s love for the Dark Lady. It condemns love for misleading the speaker about her.

Sonnet 138

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 138,’ also known as ‘When my love swears that she is made of truth,’ is a poem about the lies at the heart of a relationship. It depicts the necessity of two lovers misleading one another. 

Sonnet 139

by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 139,’ also known as ‘O, call not me to justify the wrong,’ expresses the speaker’s longing that the Dark Lady stop treating him so cruelly. By the end, he gives in and accepts his fate. 

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