VCCS Litonline Introduction to Literature
page 19 of 20
English 112 (English Composition II)
1. Sonnet 138: There's a video (not at this link) on Shakespeare's sonnets on which members of the Royal Shakespeare Company read this poem trying to wring from it all the sexual innuendo they can. Starting with the pun on "lying to" someone vs. "lying with" someone, what meanings can you see in this poem?
2. Here's all 154 Sonnets attributed to William Shakespeare at the MIT site for his complete works. Brace yourself: They're numbered in Roman numerals (but the first lines are given, too). One of the usual things that commentators do is try to see some order or progression or groupings in these sonnets, e.g. those directed at a "dark lady" or others directed at his financial backer. Of course, you could just read them to pick out your favorites.
3. This clear explanation with examples by Theresa Caruso (a .pdf, or Adobe, file) distinguishes between the Italian (Petrarchan) sonnet form and the English (Shakespearean) form.