Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Why are ideas of love, friendship, and marriage the subject of many Shakespearean sonnets, such as 30, 55, and 116?

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Shakespeare's sonnets are quite different from the other sonnet sequences of his time. Most notable is his choice of subjects to whom he addresses this poetry. His selection of a good-looking young man as the object of his praise, love, and idealization is unique. Shakespeare's depiction of a dark, sensuous, and promiscuous mistress is markedly different, as well. Perhaps because the objects of the speaker's love are not typical, the moods of Shakespeare's sonnets are unlike those of the traditional Petrarchan sonnet. The sonnets that  Shakespeare has written are addressed to a "Fair Youth" and a "Dark Mistress." Those that are under question here—Sonnets XXX, LV, and CXVI—are all addressed to the handsome young man.

In Sonnet XXX, the speaker mentions that he is saddened when he recalls the loss of his time and his regrets—

The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before. (Sonnet XXX, xi-xii)

But, when he thinks of his friend, along with the power of...

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