James Bryant

YOU don't need to understand the fermentation process to appreciate a good wine nor understand the workings of the internal combustion engine to get a frill from driving a Ferrari F40. The same is true of Shakespeare's Sonnets. You don't have to understand their construction or theme to value their poetic beauty.

Below is a brief introduction to the Sonnets and you can skip this bit if you want.

Shakespeare's Sonnets nearly always consist of fourteen lines of alternatively rhyming verse. The last two lines (couplet) are different in that they rhyme and try to give a summary of the main theme. I believe that the sonnets are factual and tell a (true) story. Now the boring stuff:

The Sonnets are special because they suggest a relationship between three people, a poet (William Shakespeare), a young man (William Herbert?) and a dark lady (Mary Fitton?).

My favourite Sonnets:

Sonnet   34 ... about a relationship between two people, one is the "sun" the other the friend who has been upset or abandoned.
Sonnet   57 ... about waiting for a loved one who may be seeing someone else.
Sonnet   60 ... about Time moving ever forward and ageing.
Sonnet   65 ... about the ravages of time ageing and immortalizing a loved one in verse.
Sonnet   90 ... about the pain of spitting up with a loved one.
Sonnet   91 ... about money not buying happiness if you're not with the one you love.
Sonnet   94 ... hmmm this has a double meaning, but for me it's about doing or saying one thing then doing/saying another.
Sonnet 130 ... to a loved one (woman) whose beauty surpasses all others, it's all in the couplet.
Sonnet 138 ... about deceit and a loved one telling lies and forgiveness of the hurt party.
Sonnet 144 ... a man in a relationship who is being pulled and used by two lovers - one bad the other good (god verses evil).

Drop Down Menu For All Of Shakespeare's Sonnets (incomplete)