1: Answer Key (p. 118)
Checkpoints Sonnet 130
- How does Shakespeare describe his beloved?
- Eyes – nothing like the sun/ not bright
- Lips – coral is more red / her lips are not bright red
- Skin colour – her breasts are dun / she has greyish coloured skin
- Hair – like black wires
- Cheeks – no such roses / pale
- Breath – reeks / stinks
- Voice – music hath a far more pleasing sound / not melodious
- He loves her because she is special to him, in spite of her apparent lack of exceptional beauty.
- Others make false comparisons between their sweethearts, making their beloved even more beautiful than they really are.
Here are some websites that explain sonnet 130:
St Thomas University/Canada
Checkpoints Sonnet 18
- Summers are often too windy or too short and the sun is either too hot or hidden behind clouds.
- By “thy eternal summer” he is talking about the beloved’s youth and beauty.
- The beloved will never die as long as people read this poem.
- The message of the sonnet is that the beloved is far more beautiful, will live longer and be loved longer than a passing summer all because of this very poem. In fact, the message may well be more of a tribute to the poet than to the beloved. It is only because of the poet that the beloved lives on.
Here are some websites that explain sonnet 18:
Cummings Study Guide
Research and Discover
A sonnet has
- 14 lines
- They rhyme every other line (quatrains 1-3) and the last two lines rhyme (couplet)
- The rhyme scheme is : abab cdcd efef gg.
- Each of the quatrains goes together thematically:
- 1-4/ summer’s day,
- 9-12/ thy eternal summer and death and the last two lines go together /the eternal poeme.
- The syllables are unstressed then stressed (x- ), iambs.
- There are five patterns of unstressed/stressed syllables per line: iambic pentameter.