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  1. #1
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    Question Which sonnets by Shakespeare are the most famous?

    Hello! Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets. I don’t think I have the ability and time to read them all. Could you please tell me which pieces of them are the most well-known by native speakers? Or which pieces do schoolchildren have to learn? I hope to read them first. Many thanks!
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 05-Nov-2008 at 01:24.

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    Default Re: Which sonnets by Shakespeare are the most famous?

    I cannot say which one is the most popular, but my favourite is Sonnet CXVI.

    Schoolchildren didn't study Shakespeare when I was a child such a long time ago. Maybe things have changed now.

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    Default Re: Which sonnets by Shakespeare are the most famous?

    Try 29.

    When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
    I all alone beweep my outcast state
    And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless** cries
    And look upon myself and curse my fate,
    Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
    Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
    Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
    With what I most enjoy contented least;
    Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
    Haply* I think on thee, and then my state,
    Like to the lark at break of day arising
    From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
    For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
    That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

    **
    bootless= to no avail, achieving nothing

    * haply = by chance, a stroke of luck

    Wishing me like to one(1. some person) more rich in hope,
    Featur'd like him(2 - another second person), like him(3, another third person) with friends possess'd,
    Desiring this man's (4) art and that man's(5) scope,

    (That is, Shakespeare is as if looking at 5 different people, and noting how each seems more fortunate or blessed than he.
    Last edited by David L.; 12-Nov-2008 at 05:18.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Which sonnets by Shakespeare are the most famous?

    Hi Rebel,

    Thank you for your reply. I had thought schoolchildren would study some relatively simple works of Shakespeares like Chinese schoolchildren learn some classic poets.

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    Default Re: Which sonnets by Shakespeare are the most famous?

    Hi David L.,

    Thank you for your recommend. It is very thoughtful of you to add some helpful annotations.

    There's something wrong with my Internet connection in these a few days. And I have some important things to deal with. I'll read it carefully a bit later.

  6. #6
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Which sonnets by Shakespeare are the most famous?

    Sonnet 18; 64; 130; 116


    These are all frequently used in anthologies.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Which sonnets by Shakespeare are the most famous?

    Hi Anglika,

    Thank you for your answer.

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