Shakespeare’s sonnets can be divided into two groups: a longer group including sonnets from 1 to 126 addressed to a young men, Shakespeare’s friend and patron, and the remaining group addressed to a dark lady. The whole sequence consists of 154 sonnets. The young men to whom the first 126 sonnets are addressed may have been the Earl of Southampton. The first 17 sonnets urge the young man to marry so that his graces may live again in his children.
As far as the group of sonnets addressed to the dark lady is concerned, it is important to note the difference with Petrarch’s sonnets.
Shakespeare’s mistress, by contrast, is not beautiful and is inconstant and cruel, but the poet cannot help loving her. She is the woman who has forsaken and has drawn his patron into her power in order to break the tie between them.
The main theme developed in the whole sequence is the assurance of poetic immortality both for the poet and the subject of his poems. Scarcely a sonnet stands alone. The same theme is elaborated again and again in different sonnets with ever fresh metaphors and imagery. The form of the sonnets is composed of three alternately rhymed quatrains and a final couplet which sums up or comments on the earlier part (the three quatrains) or gives an unexpected twist to the whole sonnet.
The collection of sonnets was published in 1609, with a dedication to Mr W.H. It is not known who Mr W.H. actually was. It is thought he may have been the Earlier of Southampton, who was Shakespeare’s friend and patron.
 dedicati a
 bruna/di carnagione scura
 to urge someone to do something = spronare qualcuno a fare qualcosa
 Per quanto riguarda
 perfetta sotto tutti i punti di vista
 to praise somebody = lodare qualcuno
 non può fare a meno
 to forsake someone = abbandonare qualcuno
 al fine di spezzare il legame tra loro
 Quasi mai un sonetto è a sé
 sempre nuovi
 Imagery = images
 rhyming alternately
 to sum = riassumere
 to give a twist = dare una svolta