What is a Sonnet?
A form of poetry invented in Italy
14 lines with a specific rhyme
The topic of most sonnets written
in Shakespeare's time was love.
The Italian poet Petrarch
(1304-1374), a Roman
Catholic priest, popularized
the sonnet more than two
Shakespeare was born.
William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets
Sonnets 1 through 126: address an
unidentified young man with
outstanding physical and intellectual
The first 17 of these urge the young
man to marry so that he can pass on
his superior qualities to a child!
In Sonnet 18, Shakespeare declares his
own poetry may be all that is necessary to
immortalize the young man and his
In Sonnets 127 - 154, Shakespeare
addresses a mysterious "dark lady"–a
sensuous, irresistible woman of
questionable morals who captivates
Shakespeare wrote his sonnets
in London in the 1590s during
an outbreak of plague that
closed theaters and prevented
playwrights from staging their
Anatomy of the
Rhyme Scheme of Shakespeare’s
sonnets: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG
The first, second, and third stanzas
have four lines with alternate
rhymes, called quatrains
The fourth stanza is called a
couplet. This couplet also rhymes
1. My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
2. Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
3. If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
4. If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
5. I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
6. But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
7. And in some perfumes is there more delight
8. Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
9. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
10. That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
11. I grant I never saw a goddess go;
12. My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
13. And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
14. As any she belied with false compare.
1. My love is as a fever longing still,
2. For that which longer nurseth the disease,
3. Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
4. Th' uncertain sickly appetite to please:
5. My reason the physician to my love,
6. Angry that his prescriptions are not kept
7. Hath left me, and I desperate now approve,
8. Desire is death, which physic did except.
9. Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
10.And frantic-mad with evermore unrest,
11.My thoughts and my discourse as mad men's are,
12. At random from the truth vainly expressed.
13. For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
14. Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.
You crazy kids need some help with writing metaphors and
olfactory, gustatory, and tactile imagery. Describe the candy
room from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory using at
least 2 examples of each.