Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's Sonnets book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are the couplets in Sonnet 27? I am not sure if it would be.. "Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed, The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;" or "Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed, The dear repose for limbs with travel tired; But then begins a journey in my head To work my mind, when body's work's expired."

Expert Answers info

Tina Bishop, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Southern Utah University


calendarEducator since 2011

write2,337 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

It seems like you only have part of the Sonnet written above. Shakespeare wrote Sonnets in a certain pattern; specifically, he wrote them with 3 quatrains (4 lines of iambic pentameter that follow a certain rhyme scheme) and one couplet (two lines whose endings rhyme) at the end of the poem.  Hence, the couplet you are seeking for is at the end of the poem.  From what I gather, the couplet would be the following:

"Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,/ For thee and for myself no quiet find."

Incidentally, the rhyme scheme that Shakespeare also used is outlined by this pattern: abab, cdcd, efef, gg.  The A's rhyme with each other, the B's with the B's, and so on and so forth throughout the quatrains and finally with the "gg" rhyming together in the couplet. In Sonnet 27, for example the A's would be "bed" and "head".  Notice that there is one line separating the two lines in which these rhyming words are found. That line (the 2nd) ends with "tired" and is rhymed with "expired" on the fourth line.  Look at the end words of each line and label them with the patterns listed above.  It is fun to see how strictly Shakespeare follows the patterns and/or structure of his sonnets.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial



byankeegirl28b | Student

*The dear repose for limbs with travail tired