Your beauty arose as the Bull of His Mother

Perhaps in a world where life expectancy was forty, and where smallpox outbreaks regularly killed large portions of the population, life seemed unusually precious, and beauty especially fleeting. Those who miraculously survived smallpox were left horribly scarred, including Queen Elizabeth herself. In such an atmosphere, Shakespeare's preoccupation with time is understandable — but Shakespeare had a solution. In his sonnets, poetry can do amazing things. It can conquer death by keeping the memory of the beloved alive for eternity. Sonnet 18 tells us that the poet's "eternal summer shall not fade" because "So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,/So long lives this, and this gives life to thee." Sonnet 19 concludes by telling us that "My love shall in my verse ever live young." Sonnet 55, like sonnet 18, refers to "this" instead of directly naming it as verse, and concludes: "You live in this and dwell in lover's eyes." In sonnet 60, Shakespeare did not ignore the reference of the sonnet number to the sixty minutes of an hour, and he talks of "our minutes hasten[ing] to their end." Yet once again, he says, "My verse shall stand." After discussing the "lines and wrinkles" of old age in line 4 of sonnet 63, "His beauty shall in these black lines be seen,/And they shall live, and he in them still green" is the final sentiment. Sonnet 65 talks not of "black lines," but of "black ink" in which "my love may still shine bright." Sonnet 81 begins with a reference to "your epitaph" and ends with "You still shall live, such virtue hath my pen, /Where breath most breathes, ev'n in the mouths of men."

Sonnet XVIII - Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day
Photo provided by

Free Shakespeare Sonnet 130 Essays and Papers

There will be more on Petrarch's form and themes shortly. It may not be necessary to have my students trace all of the contributions to the form of the sonnet in England, but here is a short history that may be of interest to the instructor. Sir Thomas Wyatt introduced the sonnet to England (1503-42) following his visit to Italy in 1527. He translated some of Petrarch's work into English, and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, further developed the English sonnet form. However, it was the popularity of an anthology called , published in 1557, that "is largely responsible for bringing into the mainstream of English verse a poetic form that had come into prominence during the fourteenth century in Italy." 5 The English sonnet was further popularized by Sir Philip Sidney, particularly in his sonnet sequence, published after the author's death in 1591. It was at this point that the sonnet fad "really took off"6 Sidney's poems set "off a wave of English sonnet-sequences."7

Free Shakespeare Sonnet 130 papers, essays, and research papers.

The subject matter of a Petrarchan sonnet was restricted to particular themes. A typical Petrarchan sonnet concerned unrequited and unconsummated love. We would hear of a poor, suffering lover who laments the coldness of his beloved. Shakespeare followed this model in in representing Romeo's attitude toward the character Rosaline. This is the woman beloved by Romeo as the play begins, the one who causes [him] so much grief that he shuts himself up in his room and closes the curtains, making the day like night. She had refused Romeo's advances, preferring to live a chaste life. "The fundamental premiss [sic] of the Petrarchan sonnet is simple: a man loves and desires a beautiful woman who is dedicated to chastity."13

(...) The New Solar Theology arose as a cognitive iconoclasm that rejected the entire mythic, pictoral world of polytheistic thought.
Photo provided by


5. expository- an attempt to enable an audience to understand something unfamiliar through a clear explanation which sets forth a number of connected facts
6. letter to the editor- an attempt to introduce or respond to a current issue of civil importance by combining elements of an argumentative (rational) and persuasive (emotional) essay in a very brief format (100-150 words).
7. narrative- an attempt to enable an audience to understand something unfamiliar through a compelling story which sets forth a series of connected events
8. persuasive- an attempt to convince an audience to think or act in a certain way based upon emotional appeals (pathos)

Annotated Robert Frost « PoemShape

Best said by Robert Frost, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” Infinite pieces of art have been created on love; life and death yet only some leave behind a mark.

Tea Tuesday: We’re Jammin with ..

Sonnets 18, 19, 55, 60, 63, 65, and 81, therefore, will be the focus for the group researching this theme. Sonnet 18 and 19 are a good pairing, and could even be extended to include sonnet 17, for a study of the sonnets as they relate to one another. There is much scholarly work concerning the 154 Shakespearean sonnets as a coherent whole. It can be said that when read one after the other, they in fact tell a story. This interconnection goes beyond the content to the structure. Edmondson and Wells make much of the fact that the rhymed couplet of one sonnet has an emotional and logical connection to the first line of the next sonnet. The ending of sonnet 18 seems to lead directly to the opening of sonnet 19, a pattern often followed by Shakespeare, and worth having my students note. The last line of sonnet 18, quoted above, refers to the power of poetry to give life to the poet's love, where "this" is the poem itself. The first line of sonnet 19 picks up from there with the theme of the power of time: "Devouring time, blunt thou the lion's paws."