William Shakespeare - Sonnet 57

Term Paper, 2006

8 Pages, Grade: 1,7

Abstract or Introduction

William Shakespeare is not only considered as one of the most famous playwrights of all times, he was even very productive when it came to writing poetry, especially sonnets. In 1609 a book called SHAKE-SPEARES Sonnets was published by Thomas Thorpe in London, which contained 154 sonnets and a longer poem, A Lover's Complaint. The immediate success continues until today, and no other book, except the bible, has been translated more often into German.

Many of Shakespeare's themes surely are conventional sonnet topics, such as love and beauty, but he treats these themes in his own, distinctive fashion, and, like in Sonnet 57, addresses the poems of love and praise not to a fair maiden but instead to a young man. The tender terms and the expressed jealousy that the speaker extends toward the beloved youth of the sonnets, led to an indication of a homo erotic relationship, even questions whether Shakespeare himself was engaged in sexual relationships with other men. By so breaking a taboo, Shakespeare overcomes the strict Petrarchan sonnet model; the relationship between speaker and addressed becomes more human and has therefore to deal with real human problems: rejection, treachery and rivalry.

Because the lyrics are of an intense and passionate character, many readers and critics have been convinced that they must consist of an autobiographical basis. Endless speculations and researches have attempted to find out which of Shakespeare's personal experiences are reflected in his sonnets as well as to identify the individuals the speaker refers to. There is, however, no clear evidence, that these poems are anything than the product of Shakespeare's own observation, imagination and understanding of the human heart.

In my work, I will give an introdution to Shakespeares Sonnets in general and as an example analyze Sonnet 57.


William Shakespeare - Sonnet 57
Humboldt-University of Berlin  (Department of English and American Studies)
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William, Shakespeare, Sonnet
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Patricia Patkovszky (Author), 2006, William Shakespeare - Sonnet 57, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/62308


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