The Most Popular Shakespearean Sonnet, Ranked

Choose the sonnet you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jul 2, 2024 07:09
Shakespeare's sonnets offer a treasure trove of eloquence, insight, and emotion, capturing the complexity of human feelings with remarkable precision and beauty. However, amidst his expansive catalog, some sonnets resonate more profoundly with contemporary audiences, making it useful to see which ones rise to the top in popular opinion. By participating in ranking these beloved poems, users contribute to a collective evaluation that helps highlight the most impactful work, according to public perspective. This process not only aids in new readers' discovery of Shakespeare’s masterpieces but also enhances our understanding of the timeless relevance of these texts.

What Is the Most Popular Shakespearean Sonnet?

  1. 1
    55
    points
    Sonnet 18

    Sonnet 18

    Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
    • Themes: Beauty, the passage of time, and the immortality of art.
  2. 2
    17
    points
    Sonnet 73

    Sonnet 73

    That time of year thou mayst in me behold
    • Themes: Aging, love, and the passage of time.
  3. 3
    15
    points
    Sonnet 130

    Sonnet 130

    My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
    • Themes: Real beauty, love, and the imperfections of the beloved.
  4. 4
    15
    points
    Sonnet 29

    Sonnet 29

    When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
    • Themes: Discontent, love, and redemption.
  5. 5
    13
    points
    Sonnet 116

    Sonnet 116

    Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments.
    • Themes: Love, marriage, and the nature of true love.
  6. 6
    9
    points
    Sonnet 2

    Sonnet 2

    When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
    • Themes: Aging, beauty, and procreation.
  7. 7
    0
    points
    Sonnet 27

    Sonnet 27

    Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
    • Themes: Fatigue, separation, and the power of thought.
  8. 8
    0
    points
    Sonnet 104

    Sonnet 104

    To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
    • Themes: Friendship, beauty, and the passage of time.
  9. 9
    0
    points
    Sonnet 60

    Sonnet 60

    Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
    • Themes: The passage of time, mortality, and the cycles of life.
  10. 10
    0
    points
    Sonnet 1

    Sonnet 1

    From fairest creatures we desire increase,
    • Themes: Procreation, beauty, and the passage of time.

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Shakespearean sonnet. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Sonnet is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 2272 views
  • 124 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Sonnet once every 24 hours. The rank of each Sonnet is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Shakespearean Sonnet

Sonnet 18
Rank #1 for the most popular Shakespearean sonnet: Sonnet 18 (Source)
William Shakespeare, a renowned playwright and poet, penned 154 sonnets. These sonnets, first published in 1609, explore themes of love, beauty, politics, and mortality. The sonnets are a collection of poems that follow a specific structure. Each sonnet consists of 14 lines, written in iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme follows the pattern ABABCDCDEFEFGG.

Shakespeare's sonnets focus on the complexities of love and relationships. They often address a young man, a rival poet, and a mysterious "Dark Lady." The young man is the subject of many sonnets, where themes of admiration, beauty, and the passage of time appear. The rival poet represents competition in the realm of art and creativity. The "Dark Lady" sonnets shift in tone, revealing a more sensual and complicated side of love.

The sonnets are known for their rich language and deep emotional resonance. Shakespeare uses metaphors, similes, and personification to convey his thoughts and feelings. These literary devices add layers of meaning, making the sonnets a subject of study and admiration for centuries. They allow readers to connect with the poet's experiences and emotions on a personal level.

Shakespeare's exploration of time and its effects on beauty and love is a recurring theme. He often reflects on the inevitable decay that time brings. This contemplation on aging and the fleeting nature of life adds a poignant touch to his work. The sonnets suggest that poetry and art can immortalize beauty and love, defying time's relentless march.

The sonnets also delve into the nature of true love. Shakespeare portrays love as a force that transcends physical appearance and societal expectations. He emphasizes the importance of inner beauty and the enduring nature of genuine affection. This perspective on love has resonated with readers, making the sonnets timeless.

The sonnets' popularity can be attributed to their universal themes and relatable emotions. They capture the essence of human experience, making them relevant across different eras and cultures. Readers find solace and inspiration in Shakespeare's words, as they navigate their own lives and relationships.

The language of the sonnets, though written in Early Modern English, remains accessible to modern readers. The themes and emotions expressed are universal, allowing readers to connect with the text despite the passage of time. The sonnets' structure and rhythm also contribute to their enduring appeal. The iambic pentameter creates a musical quality, making the poems pleasing to read and recite.

Shakespeare's sonnets have influenced countless poets and writers. They have been analyzed, interpreted, and reimagined in various forms. The sonnets continue to inspire new generations, showcasing the enduring power of Shakespeare's words.

In conclusion, Shakespeare's sonnets remain a vital part of literary history. Their exploration of love, beauty, and time resonates with readers. The sonnets' structure, language, and themes contribute to their lasting appeal. They stand as a testament to Shakespeare's genius and the timeless nature of his work.

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