Also, I plan on pronouncing the long Ss as Fs

I don’t know how many GRs are fans of Shakespeare’s sonnets, but I thought I would throw this one out to y’all… We have a performance of R3 on April 23, which is the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth. Relevant, because, you know, William Shakespeare wrote R3, as well as writing all the rest of Shakespeare’s plays (with certain possible exceptions). So we are having a little post-show shindig, with cake and champagne and the reading of some of the sonnets.

YHB has scanned the sonnets in the past, but has never made anything like a study of them. I am fond of 116 (Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediment), but that one was claimed by someone faster off the mark than I am, in my ear-infected state. 130 (My Mistress’ess’s eyes are nothing like the sun) and 138 (When my love swears that she is made of truth) are also claimed, as is, I think, 27 (Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed). Does anyone have any suggestions? It’s not a Big Deal of any kind; I don’t have to participate at all, and it being more of a lark than a performance, I can just grab one and read it off the cuff, as it were. Still, I think it would be nice to work something up.

Any favorite Shakespearean sonnets, Gentle Readers? I will promise to record and post my interpretation of the one I actually perform, unless I get sicker and die before the 23rd.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

2 thoughts on “Also, I plan on pronouncing the long Ss as Fs

  1. Matt

    I’m fond of 17 (the one about “who would believe me,” although I don’t remember it exactly, off-hand). If only Ariel’s song, “Where the bee sucks,” from The Tempest were a sonnet, I would suggest that. Only for the pronunciation.


  2. Chris Cobb

    Well, here are a few of my favorites:

    15 “When I consider every thing that grows” –a bit like the more famous 18, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” but intellectually more complex
    20 “A woman’s face with Nature’s own hand painted” — gender-bender extraordinaire
    30 “When to the sessions of sweet silent thought” — Playfully lugubrious alliterations; should appeal to Proust fans, as it gave Marcel his title
    73 “That time of year thou mayst in me behold” — The perfectly controlled sonnet; passion, imagery, pace, sound, everything. If I were picking one, it would be this
    90 “Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now” — Brilliantly expostulative!
    98 “From you I have been absent in the spring” — Sonorous, yet surpassingly witty
    106 “When in the chronicle of wasted time” — Beauties past and present
    128 “How oft, when thou, my music, music play’st” — most, most, surpassing-extra-most subtle sensuous sonnet
    138 — already mentioned; darkly hilarious and psychologically incisive

    Coincidentally, a student of mine last evening asked me what was my favorite Shakespeare play–I replied with a list of nine. I can be more selective with the sonnets . . .


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