Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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I need a summary of Shakespearean sonnets 80 and 82.      

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Shakespeare's sonnets are arranged into three four-line quatrains plus a concluding two-line couplet.  Each of the three quatrains usually explores a different variation of the main theme; then, the couplet presents a summarizing or concluding statement.

Shakespeare's Sonnet 80 is a very despairing sonnet as in the first quatrain the speaker expresses his discouragement at learning that another poet writes about the lover; in the second quatrain he fears losing the attentions of his lover because his verse/his "saucy bark [is] inferior" to that of the other poet who praises the lover. 

Then, in the third quatrain the thought changes, and, using the metaphor of a boat for himself the speaker asks the lover to "hold me up afloat" while the other poet receives favor; for, if he loses the favor of the lover, he will despair:  "I am a worthless boat."  The final couplet draws the...

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