List of poems to be studied:Sonnet 12Sonnet 18Sonnet 60Sonnet 73Sonnet 116A Brief BiographyBaptised: 26 April 1564 (birth date unknown)Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.
Died: 23 April 1616 (aged 52)
Occupation :Playwright, poet, actor
Spouse: Anne Hathaway (m.15821616)
Children: Susanna, Hamnet (died age 11years) , Judith
Introduction to Shakespeares sonnetsThe Sonnets are Shakespeare's most popular poetic works, and a few of them, such as: Sonnet 18 (Shall I compare thee to a summer's day), Sonnet 116 (Let me not to the marriage of true minds), and Sonnet 73 (That time of year thou mayst in me behold), have become the most widely-read poems in all of English literatureWhat is a sonnet?14 line poem
Two types of sonnets:
PETRARCHANSHAKESPEAREAN An octet (8 lines) which outlines a concern or theme
A sestet (6 lines) that develops the theme/resolves a concern.
Three quatrains (4 lines) and
A rhyming couplet (2 lines)
Rhyming scheme:abab cdcdefefggComposition of his sonnetsShakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, likely composed over an extended period from 1592 to 1598.
Themes of his sonnetsThe majority of the sonnets (1-126) are addressed to a young man, with whom the poet has an intense romantic relationship. The poet spends the first seventeen sonnets trying to convince the young man to marry and have children; beautiful children that will look just like their father, ensuring his immortality. Many of the remaining sonnets in the young man sequence focus on the power of poetry and pure love to defeat death.
The final sonnets (127-154) are addressed to a promiscuous and scheming woman known to modern readers as the dark lady. Both the poet and his young man have become obsessed with the raven-haired temptress in these sonnets, and the poet's whole being is at odds with his insatiable "sickly appetite". The tone is distressing, with language of sensual feasting, uncontrollable urges, and sinful consumption.
SexualityThe question remains whether the poet is expressing Shakespeare's personal feelings.
Few details of Shakespeare's sexuality are known. At 18, he married the 26-year-old Anne Hathaway, who was pregnant. Susanna, the first of their three children, was born six months later on 26 May 1583. However, over the centuries readers have pointed to Shakespeare's sonnets as evidence of his love for a young man. Others read the same passages as the expression of intense friendship rather than sexual love. At the same time, the 26 so-called "Dark Lady" sonnets, addressed to a married woman, are taken as evidence of heterosexual liaisons